Pennsylvania Medical Marijuana Bill to be Filed Monday

Pennsylvania Medical Marijuana Bill to be Filed Monday

HARRISBURG, PA — A comprehensive bill to allow the use of medical marijuana in Pennsylvania is expected to be filed Monday by Senators Daylin Leach, a Democrat, and Mike Folmer, a Republican.

Intentions to introduce bi-partisan bill, Senate Bill 1182, also known as the Governor Raymond Shafer Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Act, was announced late last year.  The bill has received input from lawmakers, healthcare professionals, parents, patients, activists from local and national marijuana law reform organizations, and medical marijuana industry professionals from other states, including Colorado.

While medical marijuana bills have been introduced by Senator Leach in Pennsylvania in the past and have failed to advance, this year’s filing, co-sponsored with Republican Senator Mike Folmer, should see some progress — and quite possibly a favorable vote — in the Senate this year.

“It’s time that we help these individuals to end their pain and suffering,” Sen. Leach said in November. “I invite my fellow legislators on both sides of the aisle to join us, to put politics aside, and to allow people to take advantage of the multitude of benefits this medicine has to offer.”

Despite increasing support for medical marijuana among Pennsylvania voters and lawmakers, the bill still faces an uphill challenge.  Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett’s staunch anti-marijuana stance could derail the effort, as the Republican, who is seeking re-election in 2014, has said he would veto any bill allowing medical marijuana in the Commonwealth.

Under the proposed bill, doctors, nurse practitioners, dentists and psychiatrists will be allowed to recommend medical marijuana to patients suffering from cancer, glaucoma, post-traumatic stress disorder, HIV/AIDS, chronic pain, severe nausea, seizures, including epilepsy, severe and persistent muscle spasms, including spasms characteristic of multiple sclerosis or Crohn’s disease, intractable pain, or “any other medical condition or its treatment that is recognized by licensed medical authorities attending to a patient as being treatable with cannabis in a manner that is superior to treatment without cannabis.”

Patients are required to have a bona fide relationship with their doctor.  Language in the bill protects healthcare professionals from disciplinary action by the State Board of Medicine for recommending cannabis therapy.

The bill allows minors under 18 to be enrolled in the program with parental consent in addition to the physician’s recommendation.

Medical marijuana patients would be allowed to possess up to one ounce of marijuana or three ounces of marijuana infused products or concentrates.

Medical marijuana would be distributed through a statewide system of registered, regulated, non-profit dispensaries known as “Compassionate Care Centers” under the act.   Medical cannabis would be grown in Pennsylvania by registered non-profit “commercial medical cannabis farmers,” and edibles and other concentrates would be allowed to be produced by registered non-profit “medical cannabis manufacturers.”

Patients would not be allowed to grow their own marijuana unless they are also registered as a “commercial medical cannabis farmer” under the program, in which case they would be allowed to keep up to 25% of their crop for personal use.  The remaining crop would need to be sold to a dispensary or donated to a post-secondary institiution for research.

All medical marijuana sold in Pennsylvania would be required to be tested by an independent lab for quality and safety.

Medical marijuana patients authorized by their doctors would be issued a medical marijuana identification card, which would protect them from arrest in Pennsylvania for possessing medical cannabis.

The bill creates an independent administrative agency, the Pennsylvania Medical Cannabis Board (PMCB), who will oversee the proposed medical marijuana system and “ensure safe and regular distribution of medical cannabis” to patients registered in the program.

The bill also creates a new division within the Pennsylvania State Police, the Bureau of Medical Cannabis Control Enforcement, to ensure compliance with the program’s regulations, including investigating claims of unlicensed or unlawful medical marijuana sales.

Also included in the bill is the creation of the Bureau of Consumer Relations, which will be established to handle complaints and suggestions from Pennsylvania residents enrolled in the medical marijuana program, as well as suggesting implementing improvements to the program.

The bill bans patients from driving “under the influence of tetrahydrocannabinol.”  The bill also bans the smoking of medical marijuana in specific public places, including on school buses or public transportation, public parks, beaches and recreation centers, correctional facilities, or any place in Pennsylvania that bans the smoking of cigarettes either by law or organizational policy.

The vaporization of medical marijuana, however, would be permitted in public, similar to current use of electronic cigarettes.

If passed, the bill would take effect 90 days from the governor’s signature or legislative override of a veto.

  • gary


    • jimheffner

      ….I Cannabis

  • Rhys Dilenschneider

    Philly wassup

    • Toyler Tha Creator

      Shut the fuck up

  • Rasco Jimenez


    • Chris White

      I have just got off 200 mg a day of MS Contin after 5 years and just got off then and the the withdrawal was hell , so if I used cannabis ( which is the correct word for the plant sativa, or indica)I would of not went through that hell and if they allow you to grow for personal use it would cost me less money for my 2 disc back pain get on the band wagon Pa. Marijuana is the wrong word for the plant that the word they gave it years ago so it would get on the class 1 just like heroin. Pa and the rest of the country not legal for cannabis do the right thing and save us the 5 billion we spend yearly on the war on cannabis or drugs.

  • Keith Steele

    The governor better have the sense of signing this. My vote for him will go out the window otherwise….

    • Dave

      He’s an ass and won’t sign it. You’d have better luck praying for a supermajority.

    • Vince

      Gov is not going to vote for this he has stated several times as long as he is in office Medical Marijuana will never be signed into law. So if you really feel that way dont waste you vote on him. This bill is so important to so many that are i chronic pain i can see someone that is running on this platform winning.

      • Steve Green

        Vote him out!!!

  • Vixxis

    This is the fourth legislative session that medical marijuana bills have been introduced in Pa. The first three never made it out of committee and were never brought to a vote. Gov Corbett (R) is losing ground to candidate John Hanger (D) who is running on a pro-cannabis campaign. Hopefully come November the people of Pa will no longer have to endure the outdated thinking of Gov. Corbett.

    • Dave

      If by “losing ground” you mean “probably will never face him” then you are unfortunately right. The democratic primary seems eerily quiet and Hanger’s campaign is considered a long shot. He is however the ONLY candidate for governor from either party who truly understands cannabis issues. None of the other candidates to my knowledge support legalization and both the presumptive Republican candidate (and current governor) and the leading Democratic candidate are hostile to passing medical marijuana legislation in PA, never mind recreational use. BTW I changed my party membership from independent to Democratic just so I could vote for Hanger in the primary so I am no hater over here.

  • kevin_hunt

    “The classification of marijuana as a Schedule I drug as well as the continuing controversy as to whether or not cannabis is of medical value are obstacles to medical progress in this area. Based on evidence currently available the Schedule I classification is not tenable; it is not accurate that cannabis has no medical value, or that information on safety is lacking.”

    Source: Medical Marijuana: Clearing Away the Smoke

    Open Neurol J. 2012

  • Venus Glancy

    I hope it gets passed.. I do not use it but with all the meds I am on and the pain I’m in all the time if this would work and not kill my liver like the pills are I would do it. I sick of hurting all day every day. maybe this would help me and I could live a pain free life. Im 40 and I feel like I’m 90 due to the pain I dont hardly sleep because i hurt all the time so I can’t get rested. It would be nice if they would help us people out and not sweep us under the rug. I hate taking pills all the time just to feel a small bit of relief in my life. Come Pa Dont Fail us now.

    • Rick Sanchez

      I fully understand. I’m a decade younger but I can relate. I have been put on meds since my teenage years and I couldn’t stand the side effects they caused! I DO take advantage of marijuana regardless of risk, because it has done so much for my health. I no longer take any medication and I have never felt better. It has done wonders for my physical pain, nausea, depression and most noticeably, my anxiety. I couldn’t recommend it more.

      • Joane

        My cousin was a roofer, fell off a roof and hurt his shoulder. His arm was all messed up, couldn’t even turn on a light switch, he was in constant pain all the time. None of the meds the doctor gave him worked or he had terrible side effects. His last resource was to grow some in flower pots in his kitchen. Thank GOD for this, because he did not have to endure that pain anymore.

      • Annonymous

        I am from Southeast, PA. I moved to California earlier this year, and for those who have never been able to use a dispensary… I can honestly say that legal dispensaries are no doubt so much more efficient. The fact it’s legal or medically accepted, and not to mention proven to suppress cancer reduce blood pressure, treat glaucoma, inhibit HIV, treat sleep disorders, Etc etc the list goes on for days. The fact it’s legal in some states & not others is not a very good look for our Countries motto of the “United States”. I don’t want to sound like i’m preaching or anything but seriously, Since i’ve been here I don’t have to go out and jeopardize getting caught up in the system every other day, Then have to pay some ridiculous fines for some BS misdemeanors,I cant afford Because the cop feels like being a prick, or i’m just the unlucky SOB. Then get a warrant & have to pay them even more & if I don’t go to jail fine blah blah blah idk it all goes without saying its like a broken record. .

    • Chuck

      WOW- I would swear that my wife wrote this. She has all these exact same problems,plus. Besides her constant pain, it is a helpless feeling not being able to really help. If this would even give her some relief, it ‘s worth it. Hope something positive is done soon.

  • Ben

    Due to the recent legalization of medical cannabis in Colorado and Washington there is going to be a booming demand. People are starting to feel more comfortable expressing their approval for cannabis because it is being put in the light it deserves. It has so many health benefits and it makes people who are in pain feel better. I hope the governor passes the bill because it would earn him a lot of votes from a lot of people.

  • richard long

    I feel alcohol is more of a drug then marijuana and does more damage to lifes and health

  • Patski762

    Lets hope that Corbett is is a one term wonder.

  • Kitty Davenport

    We need to get Corbett out of office for this to really pass. But it is a good sign. I would rather see full legalization.

    • hdkrazee

      I would like to see full legalization, but will be ecstatic if the pass a bill allowing it to be used in medical situations! How many little children are laying in our hospital oncology departments, suffering with pain and nausea? These kids, as well as adults and those with other afflictions where marijuana can be effectively utilized, deserve to be given whatever will make them comfortable. But instead, we fill them full of toxic chemicals! It’s not right!

      • Kitty Davenport

        Reading this law I highly doubt if it passed those children would get their medication. Right now those children’s best chance is to go to Colorado. This new bill states that the herb would be very strictly regulated only grown by the state and we would end up like New Jersey I fear. I am worried if this passes it will make it harder to get it decriminalized or legalized as they would use this bad unusable bill as an excuse to avoid legalization.

  • PreBigBanger

    Electing John Hanger as Governor is the only way to ensure Marijuana reform in Pennsylvania.

    Join our People’s Campaign to elect John Hanger. Send me a friend request on facebook, and I’ll connect you with the rest of our highly motivated team!

    The Dem party might not be saying anything right now, but our momentum is growing faster, and started sooner than that of any other candidate. Join us. We can win this!

    Here’s John’s stance on the issues:

    • Keith Steele

      Thank you for this information. I’m a Constitutional Republican but this man will have my vote!

  • rollinstonedzero

    I support the legalization of Medical Marijuana in Pennsylvania!

  • army guy

    Im retired military, have 4 discs in my neck, 1 in middle back, 2 in lumbar that are gone. I’ve had right elbow and wrist neurologically repaired and need left side done. There’s many other injuries but I won’t list them all. I have several doctors who have me on multiple pills. If cannabis use can eliminate some of the 19 pills I take daily with no side affects I’d be more than willing to try it. All these pills will eventually shut my kidneys and or liver down . I will switch party lines and vote for a Governor that will be in favor for it. Corbett is in big pharms hip pocket as is most politicians who are against medical marijuana.

  • guest

    i hope this goes through so my dad has other options besides chemotherapy for his cancer.

  • Renee Lyn

    I have never smoked weed in my life, however i believe that it is probably much safer then a lot of the medication whipped up in a lab that is given to people daily. I am a religious tea drinker, and seek out vitamins to help me with issues naturally. Lets face it, the US has some economic issues… I have said for years, sell it in liquor type stores, create jobs by producing it locally and bring in some revenue for the economy! The people who wish to smoke it already do! If weed were legalized tomorrow, I still probably wouldn’t smoke it because I have no desire to. Come on! It’s 2014! Wake up!

  • vicluvin

    I have been 2 motorcycle accidents n a four wheeler accident i have a broken back n I have a.c. joint compression feature in my shoulder I’ve taken all types of meds n shots nothin works better then marijuana relaxes the muscles relieves ur mind of pain as well

  • Vince

    I had spinal fusion that failed the scfews were drilled in at an agle to where they are into my spinal nerves the pain that i suffer on a daily basis let alone when crapy weather arrives is unreal. I have not tried MJ as i am afraid that if i was to get caught with it i would have a record or be thrown into jail. Medication i take is unreal i take perc 10s fyntanol valiun and a host of other meds all that do damage to my internal organs i have to take blood tests every 3 months to make sure the meds are not causing my organs to much damage.. It is the land of the free why cant i make this choice with my doctor and if we both agree this would be a better option be allowed to do it who are others to tell me how to treat myself?. Its the big pharma that is worried about it because they would lose billions on there meds that are dished out for pain. They cant patent a natural grown product so they will do whatever they can to stop this trend from continuing so they can keep pushing there poison on others and making there big fat greedy wallets overflow with cash. I am going to vote for a governor that is willing to get with times and pass the bill.

    • Scott

      I also had a serious spinal injury and if medical marijuana was available, I would try to see if it would alleviate some of the problems and pain that I always have with my back. For the last few years trying to sleep more then 3-4 hours a night just doesn’t happen. I was on many legally prescribed meds and none of them really helped so now I don’t take anything at all. The doctors put you on all sorts of meds, that after a while don’t even help, its just something you keep taking, with no relief and you feel miserable. I would definitely give medical marijuana a try. I wouldn’t be smoking it with friends and partying, I would responsibly use just enough in the evenings to try to get better rest and less pain for a real nights sleep. People need to understand there is a big difference between someone wanting to just party and get stoned with their friends… and someone who honestly just wants to get relief after an injury, such as mine, a spinal fusion that left me in constant pain. Up until I became disabled and no longer able to work, I was a law enforcement officer for 16 years. There are a lot of good reasons why medical marijuana should be made available. There are a lot of good people in PA who might benefit from at least trying this out without having to live in fear of arrest and prosecution.

  • toney

    I fully support the medical use for Marijuana. I would like to see full legalization and all of the outdated laws abolished. Yet, I am sad to say that the people that currently hold positions of power will (no matter the info that comes to light) veto any and all medical marijuana bills that come to be. Fact is that big pharmaceutical companies control laws at this point. They produce proscription pills “drugs” that are extremely harmful, addictive, and toxic to the patients that take them. We have to change the way of thinking before any sort of legaliziton laws will be passed. Personally I would like to see the big pharmaceutical compines held liable for the harm that there pills cause. These pills are made for profit, not for protection. Money is made in maintance not prevention of pain and illiness.

  • mary townsend

    Well this should be passed. It would help me a lot with my disability. I am so tired of being in pain and painkillers are addicting. I don’t take anything, I have been going without meds for quite some time. Everyday is a struggle so I really don’t know what the problem is in legalizing marijuana. There are people that are very responsible so legalize it.

  • Katie Boylan

    I am getting tired of the so- called debate on Marijuana! It’s apparent that med. use is what people want. I find that most people wouldn’t mind legalizing it, either. The Governor SHOULD be talking about what he is going to do about the almost epidemic addictive use of narcotic pain killers. Let’s talk about THAT!

  • tony

    you cannot appeal to politicians to decriminalize pot because it helps people with chronic pain.Remember they are politicians .They care only about what they say and what they do and how it is going to be perceived by the voters.You must appeal to their sense of economics.Bring to the forefront the tax boost the bare state coffers have. That it will create jobs which means income taxes..All the little new niche businesses that crop up from the new industry.If they can pump money into roads,bridges,infrastructure from pot taxes they look like geniuses and if thats all it takes then lets get busy.

  • john

    a capitalist act not compassion, taxes licensing = state revenue and pork for politics in states that have med marijuana it is cheaper to by the hemp on the streets just like it will be in PA.

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  • zekemc

    Daylin Leach is an intelligent ,persuasive, sincere, advocate on the behalf of this legislation I hope he is successful and therefore Pa. will be too.

  • Steve Green

    Tom Corbett needs to be voted out by everyone who supports legalization.

    We can make this happen people!
    He has done enough harm to our state.