The Pennsylvania Senate State Government Committee has given unanimous approval to Senate Bill 3, a proposal to legalize the medical use of cannabis. The measure now heads to the Senate Appropriations Committee, where its passage will set it up for a full Senate vote.
The proposal, which is sponsored by a bipartisan coalition of 27 lawmakers, would allow those with a qualifying medical condition who receives a recommendation from a physician to legally possess, purchase and use medical cannabis medicines. Qualifying conditions would include cancer, seizure disorders, glaucoma, post traumatic stress disorder, multiple sclerosis and.several others.
The bill would establish a system of state-licensed dispensaries, which would provide patients a means of safe access to their medicine. Unfortunately, however, smoking cannabis would be prohibited, meaning patients would need to rely on cannabis oils, tinctures and lotions.
In January, Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf said he will sign Senate Bill 3 into law if given the chance.
“I commend the bipartisan effort to allow Pennsylvania doctors to prescribe medical marijuana,” he said. “We should not deny a physician’s ability to recommend medical marijuana treatment for Pennsylvanians suffering from seizures, those affected by PTSD, cancer patients affected by chemotherapy, and Pennsylvanians suffering from many other ailments and conditions that could benefit from this effective, doctor-prescribed treatment.”
According to polling released earlier this month, 88% of voters in Pennsylvania support legalizing medical cannabis.