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Medical Marijuana in Pennsylvania

By October 21, 2009

Earlier this week, the Obama administration reversed the Bush administration's stance on medical marijuana, telling federal authorities not to arrest or prosecute medical marijuana distributors in states where medical marijuana is legal.

Currently 13 states have medical marijuana laws on the books, and there's potential for Pennsylvania to join them soon. House Bill 1393 would change the current marijuana laws to legalize medical use in the state. The bill was introduced by Philadelphia Democratic Representative Mark Cohen back in April, and then referred to the Health and Human Services Committee, where it stayed over the course of the state budget impasse. In early September, WHYY's Kerry Grens reported that "Advocates for medical marijuana are hoping that once a budget is approved, their issue will get some attention." Since Governor Rendell finally signed the budget plan earlier this month, we might see some action soon.

New Jersey is also considering medical marijuana legislation. The state Senate approved the New Jersey Compassionate Use Medical Marijuana Act in February, and the bill is now under consideration in the general assembly. When the three major gubernatorial candidates addressed the issue in a recent debate, Governor Corzine said that he would sign the legislation, Chris Christie said he would support a somewhat stricter bill than what currently exists and Chris Daggett noted that he wasn't familiar with all the details of the current bill, but that he generally supports "the use of marijuana for medical purposes as long as it can be done in a way that targets its use by the intended patient and has adequate safeguards against misuse or illegal use."

So what do you think - should Pennsylvania and New Jersey approve medical marijuana?


October 21, 2009 at 1:19 pm
(1) Joe says:

I’m a ms patient in nj and I think it should pass.I use to smoke but forced to quit and go into rehab because of my job.. Since I quit smoking I physcially have not been feeling good so I think it should pass because it works….

October 22, 2009 at 11:14 am
(2) Avi says:

YES!! It is only false rumors that have people worried. Marijuana leads to more marijuana, very rarely does it lead to harder drugs. Also marijuana helps fight lung, throat, and brain cancer. It is not addicting, and noone has died from it.

October 22, 2009 at 1:21 pm
(3) Concerned Parent says:

It’s clear that the Constitution leaves many matters to be decided internally by each State, and there is not _really_ any Constitutional mandate for the Federal government to take any action related to marijuana, provided that the marijuana doesn’t cross state lines. The President has made a good decision on the medical mj issue: let the States handle it as they see fit.

Be sure to write the President. Every politician in America is watching to see the public reaction to this one. It takes two minutes; here’s the link:

October 22, 2009 at 6:58 pm
(4) j davis says:

Not only should cannabis be legal for medicinal purposes it should also be legal for recreational use. If our laws were based on sound science and reason cannabis would be treated like alcohol and alcohol would be subject to the same restrictions placed on cannabis. I have yet to hear a sane argument against full legalization except the old bs ‘it’s for the children.’

October 23, 2009 at 9:54 am
(5) B Ritz says:

I am a big proponent of Marijuana legalization both for medicinal and recreational purposes. As a resident of Pennsylvania I was wondering whether anyone knew as to how new legislation would affect those non-patients found to be in possession of cannabis. Does the sanction of medical marijuana in a state go hand in hand with decriminalization in that state or are these two separate issues. Any insight into this inquiry would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.

October 28, 2009 at 12:22 am
(6) Mike says:

I suffer from chronic pain due to neuropathy from diabetes an lumbar stinosis. No prescribed medications really works to make it manageable, and the opiates like percocet make me sick. My neurologist told me I am a prime candidate for medical marijuana treatment. I have been contemplating moving to a state where I will be able to receive the treatment that will actually work. The government needs to pull theirs heads out of their collective asses and do what is best for it’s people. I appreciate the efforts of President Obama so far. Keep the ball rolling this needs to happen in all 50 states individually or optimally on the federal level.
And B Ritz in response to your question, if the bill is past it will be for medical only and recreational use will not be decriminalized and still illegal. Please refer to the California law, which has been the guideline for the other 12 states to ratify the medical marijuana.

November 4, 2009 at 8:57 am
(7) dale says:

i suffer severly every day i had two neck surgeries and lower back surgeries i have been on every pain killer from percocet, morphin to ocycotin and the doctors cant get my pain under control this has been going on since 02 and i suffer in more pain daily then i can handle so if medical marijauna can give me soom relief i hope pa. passes that law soon.

November 5, 2009 at 12:35 am
(8) Support PA HB1393 says:

Hello Everybody

I hope you all can take a moment this week and call your local legislator

We need to take action on this bill and a little push to the folks in Harrisburg will help

Please pass the word around to friends, family, the sick, and dying

November 5, 2009 at 1:18 pm
(9) Donovan says:

as someone that suffer’s from major depression and an extreme anxiety disorder , and as someone thats been on every medicne that can be described to me without any luck , i have to say that certain type’s of cannabis work’s like a miracle drug on me to where i can actually function normally and actually want to leave my house and be involved in ordanary activities that people normally do , i have to say , YES IT HAS TO BE LEGALIZED !!!

November 6, 2009 at 10:48 am
(10) Alan says:

YES, medical marijuana should be legal in Pennsylvania and other states…it helps my arthritus pain so I can both live and work a normal life…without it, I am facing early retirement forcing me to apply for disability benifits…

November 9, 2009 at 7:51 pm
(11) Dan says:

Well all the elderly conservative christian types that have been hurting the cause are slowly dieing off so I don’t see why it wouldnt pass but stranger things have happened i guess

November 9, 2009 at 11:29 pm
(12) courtney says:

hell ya it should, think about it could really save the world. marijuana has medical purpose, there are no recorded deaths from it they can defiantly make laws for it. and it can be used for cloths ,fertilizer and so may other things so why not legalize it

November 16, 2009 at 2:56 pm
(13) Pennsylvania Elder says:

After years of living in discomfort and being prescription medication I finally tried some marijuana after a family member suggested I try a few puffs.The first time I think I smoked to much. LOL But since then I have found a great relief by taking one puff. The relief is stupendous and I can perform any task I like. This was not so with the different prescriptions. Also I figure the relief cost me less than $20 dollars a month. If I ever get to vote for the
legalization of marijuana it will be a resounding YES.

November 17, 2009 at 6:37 pm
(14) mark says:

you will get a vote on demceber 2nd there having a hearing call your local rep and tell them YES to support it

November 26, 2009 at 9:45 pm
(15) Heidi says:

I have been a chronic pain sufferer for over ten years. I also suffer from depression and anxiety. In order to even try to ease the pain with over thirty pills a day They include painkillers too many times aday as well as muscle relaxers ,nerve pills,anxiety and depression as well as others to only try to ease the pain. and I find that when I smoke cannabas once or twice a day it releives my pain better than all those pills and with less side effects so say yes to medical marijuana in Pa

February 20, 2010 at 7:16 pm
(16) Becky says:

I am a res of PA. I have 5 health issues now that would get me the card in 13 other states. I smoke to get rid of pain. I have been on every pain killer out there and none of them has taken the pain away like pot. I am a recovering addict and pot helps me not to pick up. I got on dope in hopes it took the pain away. 12 yrs later i am off it and just smoke and let me tell you i am pain free!!! PASS IT IN PA PLEASE

April 24, 2010 at 2:29 am
(17) lostinthaburg says:

i too suffer from chronic pain due to some 1 else negligence and i keep getting looked at like im a freakin pill head even tho i tell them that the freakin pills dont work or make me sick. and i dont want to be hooked on pills either, (i was hit by a guy pulling out of ihop while on my bike on the sidewalk and drug me and the bike 30+feet down the road, 1 knee surgery so far looking at another as well as 1 or 2 ankle surgery coming up. hirts so bad to put bearing weight on my knee but thay say i can still put a roof on ur house( shingles weigh 80+ lbs) so the doctors tell me its in my head and thay want to basically do nothing. if i did not have my 2 joints through the day idk i might just pull that trigger 1 night. and is it fair that the guy walked away with only careless driving citation? the guy did not even have insurance!!!!!

idk just hoping and praying for some help somewhere,,,

April 29, 2010 at 10:36 pm
(18) eric says:

I hope the bill passes for pennsylvania. I don’t feel that one should be prosecuted or have a criminal record for small amounts of marijuana for personal use.

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