PRINTER'S NO. 833
THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF PENNSYLVANIA
INTRODUCED BY LEACH, FERLO, FONTANA AND FARNESE, APRIL 3, 2013
REFERRED TO PUBLIC HEALTH AND WELFARE, APRIL 3, 2013
1Providing for the medical use of marijuana; and repealing
2provisions of law that prohibit and penalize marijuana use.
3The General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
4hereby enacts as follows:
5Section 1. Short title.
6This act shall be known and may be cited as the Governor
7Raymond Shafer Compassionate Use Medical Marijuana Act.
8Section 2. Legislative intent.
9The General Assembly finds and declares as follows:
10(1) Modern medical research has discovered a beneficial
11use for marijuana in treating or alleviating the pain or
12other symptoms associated with certain debilitating medical
13conditions, as found by the National Academy of Sciences'
14Institute of Medicine in March 1999.
15(2) According to the United States Sentencing Commission
16and the Federal Bureau of Investigation, 99 out of every 100
17marijuana arrests in this nation are made under the laws of
18states, rather than under Federal law. Consequently, changing
1the law of this Commonwealth on this subject will have the
2practical effect of protecting from arrest seriously ill
3people who have a medical need to use marijuana.
4(3) Although Federal law currently prohibits the use of
5marijuana, the laws of Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado,
6Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Maine, Michigan, Montana,
7Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, Oregon, Rhode Island,
8Vermont, Washington and the District of Columbia permit the
9use of marijuana for medical purposes. Pennsylvania joins
10this effort for the health and welfare of its citizens.
11Section 3. Definitions.
12The following words and phrases when used in this act shall
13have the meanings given to them in this section unless the
14context clearly indicates otherwise:
15"Bona fide physician-patient relationship." A physician who
16has completed a full assessment of the patient's medical history
17and current medical condition, including a personal physical
19"Compassion center." A facility where usable marijuana may
20be dispensed for medical use.
21"Controlled Substance, Drug, Device and Cosmetic Act." The
22act of April 14, 1972 (P.L.233, No.64), known as The Controlled
23Substance, Drug, Device and Cosmetic Act.
24"Debilitating medical condition." This term includes any of
26(1) cancer, glaucoma, positive status for human
27immunodeficiency virus, acquired immune deficiency syndrome
28or the treatment of these conditions;
29(2) a chronic or debilitating disease or medical
30condition or its treatment that produces one or more of the
1following: cachexia or wasting syndrome; severe or chronic
2pain; severe nausea; seizures, including, but not limited to,
3those characteristic of epilepsy; severe and persistent
4muscle spasms, including, but not limited to, those
5characteristic of multiple sclerosis or Crohn's disease; or
6(3) any other weakening medical condition or its
7treatment that is recognized by licensed medical authorities
8as being treatable with marijuana in a manner that is
9superior to treatment without marijuana.
10"Department." The Department of Health of the Commonwealth.
11"Marijuana." As the term is defined using the spelling
12"marihuana" under the act of April 14, 1972 (P.L.233, No.64),
13known as The Controlled Substance, Drug, Device and Cosmetic
15"Medical use." The acquisition, possession, cultivation,
16manufacture, use, delivery, transfer or transportation of
17marijuana or paraphernalia relating to a qualifying patient's
18consumption of marijuana to alleviate the symptoms or effects of
19the patient's debilitating medical condition.
20"Physician." A person licensed to practice medicine and
21surgery under the laws of this Commonwealth.
22"Primary caregiver" or "caregiver." A person who is at least
2318 years of age, who has never been convicted of a felony drug
24offense, has agreed to assist with a qualifying patient's
25medical use of marijuana and has been designated as primary
26caregiver on the qualifying patient's application or renewal for
27a registry identification card or in other written notification
28to the Department of Health. A primary caregiver shall only have
29one qualifying patient at any one time. A primary caregiver
30shall not include the qualifying patient's physician.
1"Qualifying patient" or "patient." A person who has been
2diagnosed by a physician as having a debilitating medical
4"Registry identification card." A document issued by the
5Department of Health that identifies a person as a qualifying
6patient or primary caregiver. The term shall include a registry
7identification card or its equivalent issued by another state
8government to permit the medical use of marijuana by a
9qualifying patient or to permit a person to assist with a
10qualifying patient's medical use of marijuana.
11"Secretary." The Secretary of Health of the Commonwealth.
12"Usable marijuana." The dried leaves and flowers of
13marijuana, and any mixture or preparation thereof, not including
14the seeds, stalks and roots of the plant.
15"Written certification." The qualifying patient's medical
16records, or a statement signed by a physician licensed in
17accordance with the laws of this Commonwealth with whom the
18patient has a bona fide physician-patient relationship, stating
19that in the physician's professional opinion, after having
20completed a full assessment of the qualifying patient's medical
21history and current medical condition, the qualifying patient
22has a debilitating medical condition for which the potential
23benefits of the medical use of marijuana would likely outweigh
24the health risks for the qualifying patient and would likely be
25superior to treatment without the medical use of marijuana.
26Section 4. Compassion centers.
27(a) Duty of department.--The department may establish its
28own and shall license any privately owned compassion center.
29(b) Sales tax.--State sales tax at the rate imposed under
30Article II of the act of March 4, 1971 (P.L.6, No.2), known as
1the Tax Reform Code of 1971, shall be imposed on all sales of
2marijuana in this Commonwealth. If the county in which a sale of
3marijuana for medical use occurs has a sales tax, that sales tax
4shall be imposed on the sale also.
5(c) Growth, processing or distribution of marijuana for
6medical treatment.--A compassion center shall maintain records
7of all marijuana it grows, processes or distributes for medical
8treatment and shall make its records available for inspection by
10Section 5. Medical use of marijuana permitted.
11(a) Freedom from arrest, prosecution or penalty.--
12(1) A qualifying patient shall not be subject to arrest,
13prosecution or penalty in any manner, or denied any right or
14privilege, including, but not limited to, civil penalty or
15disciplinary action by a professional licensing board, for
16the medical use of marijuana, provided that the patient
17possesses a registry identification card and no more than six
18marijuana plants and one ounce of usable marijuana.
19(2) There shall exist a rebuttable presumption that a
20qualifying patient is engaged in the medical use of marijuana
21if the patient possesses a registry identification card and
22no more than six marijuana plants and one ounce of usable
23marijuana. The presumption may be rebutted by evidence that
24conduct related to marijuana was not for the purpose of
25alleviating the symptoms or effects of a patient's
26debilitating medical condition.
27(3) A qualifying patient may assert the medical use of
28marijuana as an affirmative defense to any prosecution
29involving marijuana unless the patient was in violation of
30this section when the events giving rise to the prosecution
1occurred. The defense shall be presumed valid where the
2evidence shows both of the following:
3(i) At the time of the events giving rise to the
4prosecution, the patient's medical records indicated or a
5physician stated that, in the physician's professional
6opinion, after having completed a full assessment of the
7patient's medical history and current medical condition
8made in the course of a bona fide physician-patient
9relationship, the potential benefits of the medical use
10of marijuana would likely outweigh the health risks for
12(ii) The patient and his caregiver, if any, were
13collectively in possession of no more than six marijuana
14plants and one ounce of usable marijuana.
15(4) Possession of, or application for, a registry
16identification card shall not alone constitute probable cause
17to search the person or the property of the person possessing
18or applying for the registry identification card, or
19otherwise subject the person or the person's property to
20inspection by any governmental agency.
21(5) The provisions of the Controlled Substance, Drug,
22Device and Cosmetic Act relating to destruction of marijuana
23shall not apply if a qualifying patient has in his possession
24a registry identification card and no more than six marijuana
25plants and one ounce of usable marijuana.
26(b) Patients under 18 years of age.--The provisions of
27subsection (a) shall not apply to a qualifying patient under 18
28years of age, unless:
29(1) the patient's physician has explained to the patient
30and the patient's custodial parent, guardian or person having
1legal custody the potential risks and benefits of the medical
2use of marijuana; and
3(2) the custodial parent, guardian or person having
4legal custody consents in writing to:
5(i) allow the patient's medical use of marijuana;
6(ii) serve as the patient's primary caregiver; and
7(iii) control the acquisition, dosage and frequency
8of the medical use of marijuana by the patient.
9(c) Immunity of primary caregiver.--
10(1) A primary caregiver who has in his possession a
11registry identification card shall not be subject to arrest,
12prosecution or penalty in any manner or denied any right or
13privilege, including, but not limited to, civil penalty or
14disciplinary action by a professional licensing board, for
15assisting a qualifying patient to whom the caregiver is
16connected through the department's registration process with
17the medical use of marijuana, provided that the caregiver
18possesses no more than six marijuana plants and one ounce of
19usable marijuana for the patient to whom he is connected
20through the department's registration process.
21(2) There shall exist a rebuttable presumption that a
22primary caregiver is engaged in the medical use of marijuana
23if the caregiver possesses a registry identification card and
24no more than six marijuana plants and one ounce of usable
25marijuana. The presumption may be rebutted by evidence that
26conduct related to marijuana was not for the purpose of
27alleviating the symptoms or effects of a qualifying patient's
28debilitating medical condition.
29(3) A primary caregiver may assert the medical use of
30marijuana as an affirmative defense to any prosecution
1involving marijuana unless the caregiver was in violation of
2this section when the events giving rise to the prosecution
3occurred. The defense shall be presumed valid where the
4evidence shows that:
5(i) at the time of the events giving rise to the
6prosecution, the patient's medical records indicated or a
7physician stated that, in the physician's professional
8opinion, after having completed a full assessment of the
9patient's medical history and current medical condition
10made in the course of a bona fide physician-patient
11relationship, the potential benefits of the medical use
12of marijuana would likely outweigh the health risks for
13the patient; and
14(ii) the patient and his caregiver, if any, were
15collectively in possession of no more than six marijuana
16plants and one ounce of usable marijuana.
17(4) Possession of, or application for, a registry
18identification card shall not alone constitute probable cause
19to search a person or property of a person possessing or
20applying for the registry identification card or otherwise
21subject the person or the person's property to inspection by
22any governmental agency.
23(5) The provisions of the Controlled Substance, Drug,
24Device and Cosmetic Act relating to destruction of marijuana
25determined to exist by the department shall not apply if a
26primary caregiver has in his possession a registry
27identification card and no more than six marijuana plants and
28one ounce of usable marijuana.
29(d) Immunity of physician.--A physician shall not be subject
30to arrest, prosecution or penalty in any manner, or denied any
1right or privilege, including, but not limited to, civil penalty
2or disciplinary action by the State Board of Medicine for
3providing written certification for the medical use of marijuana
4to a qualifying patient.
5(e) Personal proximity.--No person may be subject to arrest
6or prosecution for constructive possession, conspiracy or any
7other offense for simply being in the presence or vicinity of
8the medical use of marijuana as permitted under this act.
9Section 6. Operation of a motorized vehicle prohibited.
10The provisions of this act shall not be construed to permit a
11person to operate, navigate or be in actual physical control of
12a motor vehicle, aircraft or motorboat while under the influence
13of marijuana or smoke marijuana in a school bus or other form of
14public transportation, on school grounds, in a correctional
15facility, at a public park or beach, at a recreation center or
16at a place where cigarette smoking is prohibited by law or by
17organizational policy. A person who commits an act as provided
18in this section shall be subject to the penalties provided by
20Section 7. Misrepresentation prohibited.
21A person who fabricates or misrepresents a registry
22identification card to a law enforcement official commits a
23violation of 18 Pa.C.S. § 5503 (relating to disorderly conduct).
24Section 8. Registry identification cards.
25(a) Registry.--The department shall establish a registry and
26shall issue a registry identification card to a qualifying
27patient who submits the following information in accordance with
28the department's regulations:
29(1) written certification that the person is a
1(2) an application or renewal fee of not less than $50,
2which may be based on a sliding scale as determined by the
4(3) name, address and date of birth of the patient;
5(4) name, address and telephone number of the patient's
7(5) name, address and date of birth of the patient's
8primary caregiver, if any.
9(b) Issuance of registry identification card to qualified
10patient.--Before issuing a registry identification card, the
11department shall verify the information contained in the
12application or renewal form submitted under this section. The
13department shall approve or deny an application or renewal
14within 15 days of receipt of the application or renewal and
15shall issue a registry identification card within five days of
16approving the application or renewal. The department may deny an
17application or renewal only if the applicant fails to provide
18the information required under this section or if the department
19determines that the information was falsified. Denial of an
20application is considered a final agency decision, subject to
21review by the Commonwealth Court and the Supreme Court.
22(c) Issuance of registry identification card to caregiver.--
23The department shall issue a registry identification card to the
24caregiver named in a patient's approved application if the
25caregiver signs a statement agreeing to provide marijuana only
26to the patient who has named him as caregiver.
27(d) Information on face of registry identification card.--A
28registry identification card shall contain the following
30(1) the name, address and date of birth of the patient;
1(2) the name, address and date of birth of the patient's
2caregiver, if any;
3(3) the date of issuance and expiration date of the
4registry identification card;
5(4) photo identification of the cardholder; and
6(5) other information that the department may specify in
8(e) Changes in listed information.--A patient who has been
9issued a registry identification card shall notify the
10department of any change in the patient's name, address,
11physician or caregiver, or change in status of the patient's
12debilitating medical condition, within ten days of the change,
13or the registry identification card shall be deemed null and
15(f) Right-to-Know Law inapplicable.--The department shall
16maintain a confidential list of the persons to whom it has
17issued registry identification cards. Individual names and other
18identifying information on the list shall be confidential, and
19shall not be considered a public record under the act of
20February 14, 2008 (P.L.6, No.3), known as the Right-To-Know Law,
21and shall not be disclosed except to:
22(1) authorized employees of the department as necessary
23to perform official duties of the department; or
24(2) authorized employees of State or local law
25enforcement agencies, only as necessary to verify that a
26person who is engaged in the suspected or alleged medical use
27of marijuana is lawfully in possession of a registry
29Section 9. Funding.
30The secretary may accept from any governmental department or
1agency, public or private body or any other source grants or
2contributions to be used in carrying out the purposes of this
4Section 10. Reports by secretary.
5The secretary shall report annually to the Governor and the
6General Assembly on the number of applications for registry
7identification cards, the number of qualifying patients and
8primary caregivers approved, the nature of the debilitating
9medical conditions of the patients, the number of registry
10identification cards revoked and the number of physicians
11providing written certifications for patients. The report shall
12not contain any identifying information of patients, caregivers
14Section 11. Health insurance.
15Nothing in this act may be construed to require a government
16medical assistance program or private health insurer to
17reimburse a person for costs associated with the medical use of
18marijuana, or an employer to accommodate the medical use of
19marijuana in any workplace.
20Section 12. Sovereign immunity.
21The Commonwealth shall not be held liable for any deleterious
22outcomes from the medical use of marijuana by any qualifying
24Section 13. Rules and regulations.
25The secretary shall promulgate rules and regulations to
26effectuate the purposes of this act. The regulations shall
27establish the registry identification card application and
28renewal form, process and fee schedule and any limitations in
29the public interest on debilitating medical conditions not
30specifically included in this act.
1Section 14. Duty of Pennsylvania State Police.
2The Pennsylvania State Police shall advise the department and
3caregivers on effective security measures for the possession and
4transportation of medical marijuana and shall inspect sites if
6Section 15. Effective date.
7This act shall take effect in 90 days.