Pubdate: Mon, 15 Dec 2014
Source: Citizens' Voice, The (Wilkes-Barre, PA)
Copyright: 2014 The Citizens' Voice


If Pennsylvania House members had been asked to legalized marijuana 
for recreational use, their commitment to delay would be 
understandable. Legalization in Colorado, Oregon and Washington is a 
work in progress, an experiment that could guide other states in the future.

But the state House and Gov. Tom Corbett have treated the 
legalization of medicinal marijuana as a law enforcement matter 
rather than the introduction of a valuable medicine to relieve 
suffering. That position contradicts the experiences of 21 other 
states where medicinal marijuana is legal and uncontroversial.

Republican Sen. Mike Folmer of Lebanon County and Democratic Sen. 
Daylin Leach of Montgomery County sponsored a medicinal marijuana 
legalization bill that passed their chamber in September, 43-7.

That's appropriate and unsurprising. The legitimate medicinal uses of 
marijuana are well-settled, and senators heard entreaties for 
legalization from medical professionals and people suffering from an 
array of seizure disorders and several types of cancer and, 
especially, from the parents of children who suffer seizures that can 
be treated with cannabis.

Yet the House simply let the legalization bill wither and die after 
the Senate passed it, and Gov. Tom Corbett wanted only to launch a 
pilot program at a few hospitals, which is unnecessary given the vast 
experience in other states.

Folmer and Leach, the sponsoring senators, plan to reintroduce the 
bill early in the new session, and they will have an ally this time 
in Gov.-elect Tom Wolf, who strongly supports legalization.

The House should move quickly, as well, to add medicinal marijuana to 
the arsenal of people who need effective treatment.
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MAP posted-by: Jay Bergstrom