PRINTER'S NO. 1477
THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF PENNSYLVANIA
INTRODUCED BY COHEN, BRIGGS, V. BROWN, D. COSTA, MOLCHANY, MUNDY, O'BRIEN AND SCHLOSSBERG, APRIL 15, 2013
REFERRED TO COMMITEE ON HEALTH, APRIL 15, 2013
1Providing for the medical use of marijuana.
4Section 1. Short title.
7Section 2. Definitions.
11"Bona fide physician-patient relationship." A physician who
12has completed a full assessment of the patient's medical history
13and current medical condition, including a personal physical
17"Controlled Substance, Drug, Device and Cosmetic Act." The
8(2) a chronic or debilitating disease or medical
9condition or its treatment that produces one or more of the
10following: cachexia or wasting syndrome; severe or chronic
11pain; severe nausea; seizures, including, but not limited to,
12those characteristic of epilepsy; severe and persistent
13muscle spasms, including, but not limited to, those
14characteristic of multiple sclerosis or Crohn's disease; or
15(3) any other weakening medical condition or its
16treatment that is recognized by licensed medical authorities
17as being treatable with marijuana in a manner that is
18superior to treatment without marijuana.
19"Department." The Department of Health of the Commonwealth.
24"Medical use." The acquisition, possession, cultivation,
25manufacture, use, delivery, transfer or transportation of
26marijuana or paraphernalia relating to a qualifying patient's
27consumption of marijuana to alleviate the symptoms or effects of
28the patient's debilitating medical condition.
1"Primary caregiver" or "caregiver." A person who is at least
218 years of age, who has never been convicted of a felony drug
3offense, has agreed to assist with a qualifying patient's
4medical use of marijuana and has been designated as primary
5caregiver on the qualifying patient's application or renewal for
6a registry identification card or in other written notification
7to the Department of Health. A primary caregiver shall only have
8one qualifying patient at a time. A primary caregiver does not
9include the qualifying patient's physician.
13"Registry identification card." A document issued by the
14Department of Health that identifies a person as a qualifying
15patient or primary caregiver. The term shall include a registry
16identification card or its equivalent issued by another state
17government to permit the medical use of marijuana by a
18qualifying patient or to permit a person to assist with a
19qualifying patient's medical use of marijuana.
20"Secretary." The Secretary of Health of the Commonwealth.
24"Written certification." The qualifying patient's medical
25records, or a statement signed by a physician licensed in
26accordance with the laws of this Commonwealth with whom the
27patient has a bona fide physician-patient relationship, stating
28that in the physician's professional opinion, after having
29completed a full assessment of the qualifying patient's medical
30history and current medical condition, the qualifying patient
1has a debilitating medical condition for which the potential
2benefits of the medical use of marijuana would likely outweigh
3the health risks for the qualifying patient and would likely be
4superior to treatment without the medical use of marijuana.
5Section 3. Compassion centers.
6(a) Duty of department.--The department may establish its
7own and shall license a privately owned nonprofit compassion
8center. The department shall award private licenses by
9competitive bid. There may not be more than one compassion
10center per 250,000 residents.
11(b) Sales tax.--State sales tax at the rate imposed under
12Article II of the act of March 4, 1971 (P.L.6, No.2), known as
13the Tax Reform Code of 1971, shall be imposed on all sales of
14marijuana in this Commonwealth. If the county where a sale of
15marijuana for medical use occurs has a sales tax, that sales tax
16shall be imposed on the sale also.
17(c) Growth, processing or distribution of marijuana for
18medical treatment.--A compassion center shall maintain records
19of all marijuana it grows, processes or distributes for medical
20treatment and shall make its records available for inspection by
22Section 4. Medical use of marijuana permitted.
23(a) Freedom from arrest, prosecution or penalty.--
24(1) A qualifying patient may not be subject to arrest,
25prosecution or penalty in any manner, or denied a right or
26privilege, including, but not limited to, civil penalty or
27disciplinary action by a professional licensing board, for
28the medical use of marijuana, provided that the patient
29possesses a registry identification card and no more than six
30marijuana plants and one ounce of usable marijuana.
1(2) There shall exist a rebuttable presumption that a
2qualifying patient is engaged in the medical use of marijuana
3if he possesses a registry identification card and no more
4than six marijuana plants and one ounce of usable marijuana.
5The presumption may be rebutted by evidence that conduct
6related to marijuana was not for the purpose of alleviating
7the symptoms or effects of a patient's debilitating medical
9(3) A qualifying patient may assert the medical use of
10marijuana as an affirmative defense to a prosecution
11involving marijuana unless the patient was in violation of
12this section when the events giving rise to the prosecution
13occurred. The defense shall be presumed valid where the
14evidence shows both of the following:
15(i) At the time of the events giving rise to the
16prosecution, the patient's medical records indicated or a
17physician stated that, in the physician's professional
18opinion, after having completed a full assessment of the
19patient's medical history and current medical condition
20made in the course of a bona fide physician-patient
21relationship, the potential benefits of the medical use
22of marijuana would likely outweigh the health risks for
27(4) Possession of, or application for, a registry
28identification card shall not alone constitute probable cause
29to search the person or the property of the person possessing
30or applying for the registry identification card, or
3(5) The provisions of the Controlled Substance, Drug,
4Device and Cosmetic Act, relating to destruction of marijuana
5do not apply if a qualifying patient has in the patient's
6possession a registry identification card and no more than
7six marijuana plants and one ounce of usable marijuana.
11(1) the patient's physician has explained to the patient
12and the patient's custodial parent, guardian or person having
13legal custody the potential risks and benefits of the medical
14use of marijuana; and
15(2) the custodial parent, guardian or person having
16legal custody consents in writing to: allow the patient's
17medical use of marijuana; serve as the patient's primary
18caregiver; and control the acquisition, dosage and frequency
19of the medical use of marijuana by the patient.
20(c) Immunity of primary caregiver.--
21(1) A primary caregiver who has in his possession a
22registry identification card is not subject to arrest,
23prosecution or penalty in any manner or denied a right or
24privilege, including, but not limited to, civil penalty or
25disciplinary action by a professional licensing board, for
26assisting a qualifying patient to whom the caregiver is
27connected through the department's registration process with
28the medical use of marijuana, provided that the caregiver
29possesses no more than six marijuana plants and six ounces of
30usable marijuana for the patient to whom he is connected
1through the department's registration process.
2(2) There shall exist a rebuttable presumption that a
3primary caregiver is engaged in the medical use of marijuana
4if the caregiver possesses a registry identification card and
5no more than six marijuana plants and six ounces of usable
6marijuana. The presumption may be rebutted by evidence that
7conduct related to marijuana was not for the purpose of
8alleviating the symptoms or effects of a qualifying patient's
9debilitating medical condition.
10(3) A primary caregiver may assert the medical use of
11marijuana as an affirmative defense to a prosecution
12involving marijuana unless the caregiver was in violation of
13this section when the events giving rise to the prosecution
14occurred. The defense shall be presumed valid where the
15evidence shows that:
16(i) at the time of the events giving rise to the
17prosecution, the patient's medical records indicated or a
18physician stated that, in the physician's professional
19opinion, after having completed a full assessment of the
20patient's medical history and current medical condition
21made in the course of a bona fide physician-patient
22relationship, the potential benefits of the medical use
23of marijuana would likely outweigh the health risks for
24the patient; and
4(5) The provisions of the Controlled Substance, Drug,
5Device and Cosmetic Act, relating to destruction of marijuana
6determined to exist by the department, do not apply if a
7primary caregiver has in his possession a registry
8identification card and no more than six marijuana plants and
9one ounce of usable marijuana.
10(d) Immunity of physician.--A physician is not subject to
11arrest, prosecution or penalty in any manner, or denied a right
12or privilege, including, but not limited to, civil penalty or
13disciplinary action by the State Board of Medicine for providing
14written certification for the medical use of marijuana to a
16(e) Personal proximity.--A person is not subject to arrest
17or prosecution for constructive possession, conspiracy or any
18other offense for simply being in the presence or vicinity of
19the medical use of marijuana as permitted under this act.
23Section 5. Operation of a motorized vehicle prohibited.
24The provisions of this act shall not be construed to permit a
25person to operate, navigate or be in actual physical control of
26any motor vehicle, aircraft or motorboat while under the
27influence of marijuana; or smoke marijuana in a school bus or
28other form of public transportation, on school grounds, in a
29correctional facility, at a public park or beach, at a
30recreation center or at a place where cigarette smoking is
4Section 6. Licit property.
5Any marijuana, marijuana paraphernalia, licit property or
6interest in licit property that is possessed, owned or used in
7connection with the medical use of marijuana as allowed under
8this act, or acts incidental to the use, may not be seized or
10Section 7. Misrepresentation prohibited.
14Section 8. Registry identification cards.
15(a) Registry.--The department shall establish a registry and
16shall issue a registry identification card to a qualifying
17patient who submits the following information in accordance with
18the department's regulations:
24(3) name, address and date of birth of the patient;
1department shall verify the information contained in the
2application or renewal form submitted under this section. The
3department shall approve or deny an application or renewal no
4later than 15 days from receipt of the application or renewal
5and shall issue a registry identification card no later than
6five days from approving the application or renewal. The
7department may deny an application or renewal only if the
8applicant fails to provide the information required under this
9section or if the department determines that the information was
10falsified. Denial of an application is considered a final agency
11decision, subject to review by the Commonwealth Court and the
13(c) Issuance of registry identification card to caregiver.--
14The department shall issue a registry identification card to the
15caregiver named in a patient's approved application if the
16caregiver signs a statement agreeing to provide marijuana only
17to the patient who has named him as caregiver.
21(1) the name, address and date of birth of the patient;
26(4) photo identification of the cardholder; and
1department of a change in the patient's name, address, physician
2or caregiver, or change in status of the patient's debilitating
3medical condition, no later than ten days from change, or the
4registry identification card shall be deemed null and void.
5(f) Right-to-Know Law inapplicable.--The department shall
6maintain a confidential list of the persons to whom it has
7issued registry identification cards. Individual names and other
8identifying information on the list shall be confidential, and
9shall not be considered a public record under the act of
10February 14, 2008 (P.L.6, No.3), known as the Right-To-Know Law,
11and may not be disclosed except to:
14(2) authorized employees of State or local law
15enforcement agencies, only as necessary to verify that a
16person who is engaged in the suspected or alleged medical use
17of marijuana is lawfully in possession of a registry
19Section 9. Discrimination prohibited.
20(a) Prohibition.--The following acts are prohibited:
21(1) A school or landlord refusing to enroll or lease to,
22or otherwise penalize, a person solely for being a registered
23qualifying patient or a registered designated caregiver,
24unless failing to do so would cause the school or landlord to
25lose a monetary or licensing-related benefit under Federal
26law or regulations.
27(2) Disqualifying an otherwise qualified patient from
28needed medical care. For the purposes of medical care,
29including organ transplants, a registered qualifying
30patient's authorized use of marijuana in accordance with this
5(3) Unless a failure to do so would cause an employer to
6lose a monetary or licensing-related benefit under Federal
7law or Federal regulations, an employer may not discriminate
8against a person in hiring, termination or a term or
9condition of employment or otherwise penalize a person, if
10the discrimination is based on either of the following:
11(i) The person's status as a card holder.
12(ii) A registered qualifying patient's positive drug
13test for marijuana components or metabolites, unless the
14patient used, possessed or was impaired by marijuana on
15the premises of the place of employment or during the
16hours of employment.
17(b) Custody.--A person otherwise entitled to custody or
18visitation or parenting time with a minor may not be denied such
19a right, and there shall be no presumption of neglect or child
20endangerment, for conduct allowed under this chapter, unless the
21person's actions in relation to marijuana created an
22unreasonable danger to the safety of the minor as established by
23clear and convincing evidence.
27Section 10. Safety compliance.
3Section 11. Funding.
8Section 12. Reports by secretary.
9The secretary shall report annually to the Governor and the
10General Assembly on the number of applications for registry
11identification cards, the number of qualifying patients and
12primary caregivers approved, the nature of the debilitating
13medical conditions of the patients, the number of registry
14identification cards revoked and the number of physicians
15providing written certifications for patients. The report may
16not contain any identifying information of patients, caregivers
18Section 13. Health insurance.
19Nothing in this act shall be construed to require a
20government medical assistance program or private health insurer
21to reimburse a person for costs associated with the medical use
22of marijuana or an employer to accommodate the medical use of
23marijuana in a workplace.
24Section 14. Sovereign immunity.
28Section 15. Rules and regulations.
5Section 16. Duty of Pennsylvania State Police.
6The Pennsylvania State Police shall advise the department and
7caregivers on effective security measures for the possession and
8transportation of medical marijuana and shall inspect sites if
10Section 17. Effective date.
11This act shall take effect in 90 days.