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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2021 - 2022 Regular Session


Posted: December 3, 2020 02:43 PM
From: Senator Camera Bartolotta
To: All Senate members
Subject: Removal of DUI Penalties for Legal Medicinal Cannabis Use
Since its inception in 2018, Pennsylvania’s Medical Marijuana program has benefitted over 250,000 Pennsylvanians who suffer from chronic illness. The program was designed with protections in place, including the requirement that individuals receiving recommendations must register with the Department of Health.  

Unfortunately, Pennsylvania's "zero tolerance" driving under the influence (DUI) law does not contemplate the difference between medicinal and recreational use of marijuana. Because of this, unimpaired patients currently face the risk of being arrested, prosecuted and convicted for using medicinal marijuana that has no bearing on their ability to drive a vehicle. 

Stakeholders including patients, attorneys, and the Pennsylvania District Attorney's Association all agree this inconsistency in law needs to be changed. Accordingly, I will reintroduce Senate Bill 1206 from the previous legislative session which will amend Title 75 (Vehicle Code) to require proof of actual impairment (similar to a Schedule II prescription) as the basis for a DUI conviction.  

Given the very serious consequences of a DUI conviction, my legislation will provide critical protections for medicinal cannabis patients by ensuring responsible use of their legal medicine does not give rise to a criminal conviction. Please join me in this effort by cosponsoring this proposal. 

Introduced as SB167