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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2013 - 2014 Regular Session


Posted: November 20, 2013 01:10 PM
From: Senator Mike Folmer and Sen. Daylin Leach
To: All Senate members
Subject: The Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Act
In the near future, we will introduce legislation to allow physicians in Pennsylvania to recommend medicinal cannabis to patients who would medically benefit from such a treatment; 21 states and the District of Columbia already have similar laws.

Although we come from different perspectives, we both agree on the importance of helping those with medical challenges – especially children with seizure disorders who would benefit from a medicinal strain of cannabis. Some children suffer hundreds of seizures a day, making normal childhood development impossible and forcing parents to helplessly watch their children suffer. Prescribed narcotic cocktails of highly addictive and dangerous drugs have little effect on these disorder and often offer only a few weeks or months of pause in the decline of a child’s health.

A strain of cannabis very high in Cannabidiols (CBD), a compound with anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, and very low in Tetrahydrocannabinols (THC), the psychoactive ingredient in cannabis. Called “Charlotte’s Web”, this strain has been used to treat disorders with dramatic results, as seen in this video showing the rapid, non-intoxicating, and free of side effects for children using this medicine: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CiShwotFJR8.

Our legislation would allow patients who have a recommendation from their doctor to purchase and use medical cannabis from licensed Care Centers. The entire process – from the growth of plants to the administration of the medicine to the patient – would be regulated and overseen by the Departments of Health and Agriculture. They will independently verify the system is secure and closed to those not in dire medical need. They will also rigorously test to ensure the cannabis used is of the type allowed under the law. We believe this will also produce health care savings by replacing high cost, high risk narcotics with a low cost, no side effect treatment – that is ingested and not smoked.

It is cruel and irrational to deny people medicine to help them feel better – especially when we routinely prescribe far more toxic medications for the same conditions. We hope you will join us in ensuring our sick friends and family members will have access to the best medicine available to relieve their pain and suffering. Thank you.

Introduced as SB1182