Pennsylvania’s Senate has voted 43 to 7 to legalize medical cannabis through the passage of Senate Bill 1182. The proposal now heads to the House of Representatives, where its passage will send it to Governor Tom Corbett for consideration.
Under Senate Bill 1182, the possession and use of cannabis oils, tinctures and edibles will be legal for those with a qualifying condition who receive a recommendation from a physician, and a license from the Pennsylvania Department of Health; qualifying conditions include cancer, epilepsy, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease and post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
Unfortunately, and for no good reason, the ability for patients to smoke and vaporize cannabis was removed in committee, meaning they’ll be required to consume their medicine through tinctures, cannabis-infused foods, oils and so on. Although this is quite ridiculous, and is something advocates should work to change even if Senate Bill 1182 becomes law, this move is still a huge step in the right direction, and would have a direct and positive impact on thousands of people throughout the state.
According to polling released in July, 84% of Pennsylvania voters support the move to legalize medical cannabis.