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?