PA-Gov: Wolf Vows to Sign Medical Marijuana Bill

marijuana_leafGovernor Tom Wolf on Tuesday pledged to sign a medical marijuana bill that the PA Senate is in the process of writing in an impromptu speech to parents of children who are suffering from debilitating seizures.

Senators Daylin Leach (D-Montgomery) and Mike Folmer (R-Lebanon) gave a news conference in which they said they plan to broaden the legislation that originally passed the Senate last fall. Wolf’s address followed the news conference.

Opposed by then Gov. Corbett, the PA House did not act on the bill, and it died at the end of the legislative session.

Leach and Folmer plan on a bill that will expand the list of authorized medical conditions that may be treated with medical marijuana. The senators would also like to expand drug delivery methods such as smoking and vaporization. Extracted oils, edible products, ointments, and tinctures are other methods that may deliver the medical marijuana.

The two State Senators want the bill to extend treatment for others, including cancer victims and veterans suffering from PTSD.

Wolf vowed to support and sign the bill, saying, “If they support it, and it takes us farther down the road toward what we all want, which is full legalization of medical marijuana, giving doctors the ability and the right to prescribe medicine they think that patients need, I’m for it.”

Eight other Senators attended the news conference including Majority Leader Jake Corman and Minority Leader Jay Costa. Appearing with Wolf and the Senators were at least a half dozen families whose children suffered from seizures.

Dana Ulrich, whose seven year old daughter suffers from severe seizures, told Wolf, “We’ve tried all of her medication options and so we’re hoping for a new option with medical cannabis and we’re hoping you can help lead us there.”

Louann Speece, who has a 17 year old daughter that has suffered from seizures since the age of nine, told Wolf, “She is a shell. I know she’s in there. She doesn’t speak, she doesn’t really feed herself very well. I want her to have a good quality of life so hopefully she can convey her needs and wants to people other than me.”

The House has not collectively weighed in on medical marijuana, but Majority Leader Dave Reed said that he hopes the House will advance the bill.

January 28th, 2015 | Posted in Front Page Stories, Governor, Top Stories | 15 Comments

15 thoughts on “PA-Gov: Wolf Vows to Sign Medical Marijuana Bill”

  1. rick simpson says:

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  3. Debbie says:

    I am a mother of 2 children with tourettes. My son has severe tourettes and as a result has harmful body hitting tics, fractured all the teeth in his mouth from the chomping tics, has numerous broken bones from falling due to tics, severe anxiety, depression, OCD’s the list goes on. We did the Genesight test as my son’s psychiatrist and neurologist have not been able to find a medication that didn’t cause harmful side effects: like suicide, caused him to have breathing difficulty, allergic reactions. The results of the test showed that the FDA recognized that with my son’s genetics he could not take 197 medications for depression, anxiety or tourettes without a reaction. This left 3 meds he could try….which we had already tried without success. The Dr’s know that Marinol will work as my son had tried it with unbelievable results. The tic’s stopped! His anxiety, OCD’s and depression greatly improved.The Dr’s are not able to prescribe this med for my son because of laws. After fighting for a normal life for my son how can people tell us no when this is proven by dr’s to be the only thing that will help my son. It is truly inhuman to keep the one thing that can help my from him. Please, help all those that need this.I can’t risk losing my child but without this my son will not be able to live a normal life.

  4. holistic farming says:

    As an american, we all face trials.My beautiful 27 year old daughter, has a seizure disorder.Since 2.5 years she was and is classified as a one in a million with a seizure disorder that is not stablized. she s been on ALL the meds . Dr.s can pump into her .As l wright to you she is lying in the hospital all hooked up again.They use her a a test sight ,she takes medicine that would kill you or l if taken.now lve done just about everything possible to get her to get seizure free. Except for the cannibas oil,now lve been growing plants since l was 4-5 yrs. old and this is what lve come up with we are organic and the meds we should be taking or food we should be eating it should be
    organic .there s nothing wrong with moderation anything can be abused .Look what alcohol has done to this country and families.But it is legal because it brings in Tax dollars, so while your sitting and pondering on weather you should or should nt pass this piece of paper.Please stop and think if this was your child,believe me you r name will go down in history of the Greats! too many of americans suffer and you have the power to stop some of the madness in the world .We thank you for your time ,just a lady on a mission

  5. Liza says:

    Stefan, I agree smoke of any kind can be annoying. But many of us pot heads use a vapor device for our “pot”. No smoke.
    Or make/ use edibles.
    And yes, many of us use it for genuine medical problems.
    The more you learn, the more you actually know.

  6. Caring mother says:

    Stefan Martin,

    As a mother of a child with a seizure disorder, I appreciate your care and concern for the welfare general public. Before my son started having hundreds of seizures a day, I would have agreed with you. In fact, I do NOT support the recreational use of marijuana. However, when faced with the feeling of utter helplessness as my three-year-old battles seizure after seizure, I would consider almost any treatment to just make. it. stop. After failing more than 10 different seizure medications, which have cost my son the ability to walk and talk normally all on their own, I started paying attention to the debate and found my opinion doing a complete 180.

    While your facts about smoking (tobacco) are good, I implore you to research a little bit deeper into the difference between carcinogenic tobacco smoke and marijuana smoke. Studies have not been able to make a link between marijuana smoke and cancer. Well – I take that back. Studies HAVE shown a link between marijuana use and the REDUCTION of cancer cells.

    I also feel compelled to point out the fact that you are comparing smoking tobacco to SMOKING marijuana. Most people using marijuana for medical purposes don’t actually smoke it. So it seems like your comparison of apples to oranges on the lung cancer thing isn’t really a valid one.

    To prove to you that all of these studies are NOT actually from “pro-marijuana groups”, I am providing a link to an abstract from the NCBI – hardly a group with any skin in the game. It is:

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1277837/

    So despite your calling medical legalization supporters “ignorant fools”, I am writing in response with as much kindness and love as possible. I urge you and those that hold your views to look a little further past the tips of your own noses. My son’s health and well-being depend on it. Thank you for your time.

  7. dan says:

    Here’s the big question, will I still be alive by the time they pass this bill,after all its not rocket science,.IF they had my pain they would hurry up!

  8. Terry McIntyre says:

    Remove Marijuana from Schedule 1,
    Seperating Marijauna from the hard drugs would go a long way to making hard drugs harder to get.

  9. Stefan Martin says:

    Tobacco vs. Marijuana FACTS

    Like tobacco smoke, marijuana smoke contains cancer-causing chemicals. There are
    33 cancer-causing chemicals contained in marijuana. Marijuana smoke also deposits tar
    into the lungs. In fact, when equal amounts of marijuana and tobacco are smoked,
    marijuana deposits four times as much tar into the lungs. This is because marijuana
    joints are un-filtered and often more deeply inhaled than cigarettes.

  10. Stefan Martin says:

    SIDE NOTE ACCORDING TO W.H.O.
    Tobacco use is a major cause of many of the world’s top killer diseases – including cardiovascular disease, chronic obstructive lung disease and lung cancer. In total, tobacco use is responsible for the death of about 1 in 10 adults worldwide. Smoking is often the hidden cause of the disease recorded as responsible for death.
    So the FACTS IS THAT SMOKING Kills more people than cancer and lets not forget that smoking causes Cancer – and most of you still think its a good idea to legalize pot! You are nothing more than ignorant fools who lack common sense.

  11. Stefan Martin says:

    Just a few thoughts for the Pro Pot heads of America that think it’s safe. Pro marijuana groups do these studies that your talking about – Plus you are comparing apples to oranges – Why not compare it to Smoking which kills 440,000 people a year JUST IN THE USA!, that would be rational and comparing apples to apples. Fact is Marijuana is a sub category of smoking and should me lumped in with smoking statistics. IMO all forms of smoking should stop because the real numbers are this – smoking kills 440,000 people a year and though alcohol has been linked to some 88,000 deaths not all of those are from drinking/they include driver accidents where people who weren’t drinking got killed by drinkers, so you are INCORRECT to say marijuana is safer than alcohol. Smoking as a whole is worse and you can’t just pick a sub category of smoking like Menthol cigarettes and say see smoking Menthol is safer than alcohol- Look at all the new studies that are independent not the ones done by pot head lovers of America.

  12. Med Marijuana Supporters Professional Advice says:

    Dear Ph.D.Scientist,

    You, and many others, make a compelling case for medical marijuana. I strongly support its legalization for any medical purpose doctors determine would help their patients.

    I am a professional lobbyist and have been one for a long time. I can tell you that when you, and others, conflate the issue of medical use and recreational use, you only make the odds of medical use passing into law less likely.

    Many people, myself included, see medical use and recreational use as two completely different issues. Even more importantly, so do most legislators. And legislators that are on the fence regarding medical use, and those that oppose any legalization of marijuana, are gravely concerned that somehow legalizing medical use will lead to recreational legalization. So don’t feed that argument! Please!

    (Keep in mind I am not commenting on the validity of that argument. I don’t think one will necessarily lead to the other. In fact, many countries allow for medical use, but do not allow for recreational use.)

    There is zero chance of recreational use being legalized in Pennsylvania at any time in the near future! I am not asking you to change your position. I am merely asking you, and all supporters of medical use, to keep recreational use out of the discussion. It is imprudent in the extreme to combine the two issues! It is only harming the cause and, quite frankly, hurts the credibility of the cause. It makes no sense for strategic purposes. Everyone that is for recreational use obviously supports medical. So you don’t pick up ANY votes by combining the issues. But, you do lose votes for medical use.

    If opioids were illegal for all purposes, including medical use, consider how ridiculous it would be to add to the conversation that they should also be legal for recreational purposes. An imperfect analogy, but you get the point.

    Like a lot of legislators, I feel a prudent course of action regarding recreational use would be to take the advice of the Democratic Governor of Colorado: other states should wait to see how legalization fairs in the places it is now legal! This type of experimentation is one of the great aspects of federalism!

    NORMAL and its supporters need to back off — for now — and let the medical use argument be the sole topic of conversation. People are sick and dying and they should come first!

    I hope you and others that read this will read it in the spirit it is intended: to further our common hope for the legalization of the medical use of marijuana.

  13. Brian Kelly says:

    “Low-THC strain only” seems to be a new trend in prohibitionist propaganda rhetoric.

    Read carefully:

    Charlotte’s story and the concern for other young patients have led some lawmakers to consider passing legislation that only allows patients to access marijuana oils that are high in CBD and that have little or no THC (tetrahydrocannabinol). While it is heartening to see lawmakers’ concern for the plight of patients with catastrophic seizure disorders, these proposals unfortunately exclude the vast majority of those who can benefit from medical marijuana, some of whom also face life-threatening ailments.

    Relative Rarity

    While CBD appears to be particularly effective at treating seizures, the number of individuals treating seizure disorders through medical marijuana programs is relatively low. For example, only 2% of the registered patients in both Rhode Island and Colorado report seizures as their qualifying conditions. While it is imperative that these individuals be allowed to legally access medical marijuana – and the strain they need – it is just as important to remember that there are tens of thousands of other men and women and a small number of children who suffer from a variety of debilitating conditions whose symptoms are alleviated by medical marijuana. The vast majority of those patients have symptoms that benefit from strains of marijuana that include more than trace amounts of THC.

    THC: Why It Matters

    Tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, is just one of the roughly 85 cannabinoids found naturally in marijuana. Clinical trials and the experiences of hundreds of thousands of patients have shown that THC, and strains of marijuana that include THC, provide important medical benefits for individuals suffering from pain, multiple sclerosis, nausea, and wasting disease. THC is also the cannabinoid most responsible for marijuana’s psychoactive effects. While THC does cause marijuana’s “high,” patients use marijuana for relief, not for euphoria. Patients who inhale marijuana can titrate their dosage precisely to use only as much as they need, reducing or eliminating the euphoria. Some use marijuana only before bed.

    The federal government has officially recognized THC’s medical properties since 1985, when the FDA approved a prescription drug that is made of synthetic THC — Marinol — for nausea. Yet, Marinol is not adequate for many patients who can benefit from marijuana. For nauseated patients, a pill can be impossible to keep down. Meanwhile, many patients benefit from the synergistic effect of THC and the other cannabinoids, such as CBD. Natural marijuana is less intoxicating than Marinol because patients can titrate their dosage and other cannabinoids moderate THC’s psychoactive properties.

    Studies have shown that marijuana that includes THC can alleviate a host of debilitating conditions, including:

    Nausea and appetite loss: Researchers have found THC and marijuana with THC are effective anti-emetics and appetite stimulants for individuals suffering from the side effects of cancer chemotherapy or AIDS treatments.
    Multiple sclerosis: Research has found that marijuana with THC can alleviate spasticity. In addition, Canada, the U.K., and several other countries approved an oral marijuana extract made of equal proportions of CBD and THC.
    Pain: Several studies have found that marijuana strains that include THC can alleviate neuropathic pain — a notoriously difficult-to-treat nerve pain commonly found in amputees, AIDS patients, and patients with multiple sclerosis.
    Since the 1970’s, the federal government has been providing a handful of individuals who suffer from various ailments with marijuana grown at the University of Mississippi as part of the Compassionate Investigational New Drug program. The four surviving patients still receiving federal marijuana receive a strain with almost no CBD that has been essential to managing their conditions — a rare bone spur disorder, multiple sclerosis, glaucoma, and a painful condition called nail patella syndrome, respectively. The marijuana these individuals have benefitted from would not be allowed under CBD-only proposals.

    Conclusion

    Medical marijuana legislation should not be so restrictive as to leave behind around 98% of the individuals who can benefit from it. THC has proven medical benefits and individuals who can benefit from strains that include it should not be forgotten when legislators debate medical marijuana bills.

    http://www.mpp.org/assets/documents/low-or-no-thc-high-cbd.html

  14. frank says:

    Let’s get this done, NOW

  15. PhDScientist says:

    I’m a Scientist with a strong interest in Cancer research. The evidence of the value of Marijuana as a life saving medicine is now so strong that the need to remove Marijuana from Schedule 1 has become a moral imperative.

    This weekend over 3,000 Americans will die, in pain, of Cancer. Every day after that, 1,500 more Americans will die, after suffering horribly, from it. Every single minute another American dies of Cancer. Every American Cancer patient deserves the right to have safe, legal, and economical access to Medical Marijuana. Every single one.

    Americans who need Medical Marijuana shouldn’t be used as “Political Footballs” Please call the Whitehouse comment line at (202) 456-1111 and ask that the President take immediate action to remove Marijuana from Schedule 1 so American Physicians in all 50 states can prescribe it. Go to petitions.whitehouse.gov — there are two petitions you can sign electronically there, one to take Marijuana off of Schedule 1, the other to legalize it completely.

    Oncologists have know it for more than a quarter of a Century that Marijuana is a “wonder drug” for helping Cancer patients.

    The American Society of Clinical Oncologists wants Marijuana removed from Schedule 1. So does the American Medical Association, the professional society of all Physicians. A strong majority of Americans want Physicians in all 50 states to be able to prescribe Medical Marijuana. So do their Physicians., Cancer patients can’t wait.

    The need to immediately, completely, legalize Marijuana throughout the world is one of the most pressing moral issues of our time, because of its medical benefits and because of the damage prohibition causes to America and to the world.

    Complete legalization is critical — its vital that there aren’t “strings” or “hoops” that Cancer patients and others who need Medical Marijuana are forced to jump through.

    “Charlottes web” is NOT the solution. Cancer patients and people who suffer from chronic pain need THC, not just CBD. The “Berkeley study”, where 96% of stage 4 Cancer patients who had a wide variety of Cancers achieved remission, used high dose Medical Marijuana oil, 72% THC, 28% CBD, 1 gram/day (oral) over a 90 day course of treatment. It was a small study, and not placebo controlled, but those kinds of results are clearly remarkable, have been widely reported on in the press, and demand the need for immediate large scale clinical trials.

    More and more present and former members of law enforcement agree about the need to end prohibition, and have formed a rapidly expanding group of current and former undercover cops, FBI, DEA, prosecutors and Judges, from all over the world, called

    LEAP — Law Enforcement Against Prohibition

    because they’ve seen the damage prohibition causes to America and the world.

    See http://www.leap.cc/

    I’m a Scientist. Not a politician, not a cop.

    But as a Scientist with a strong interest in Cancer research, I feel even more strongly about the need to ensure that no Cancer patient is denied it, because I’m so impressed with its benefits for Cancer patients.

    I urge everyone reading this to PLEASE call and email the Attorney General, the press, Congress and the President today.

    Medical Marijuana helps with Alzheimer’s, Autism, Cancer, seizures, PTSD and chronic pain, and has helped many Americans, including many veterans, stop using Alcohol, and hard drugs, both legal and illegal ones.

    Every minute an American dies of Cancer.

    Every 19 minutes an American dies of a prescription drug overdose.

    Many vets become addicted to prescription opiates and die from them.

    NOBODY has ever died from smoking too much pot.

    Cancer patients are seeing remarkable results using high dose Medical Marijuana oil, in many cases achieving complete remission, even for stage 4 cancers — there are many excellent articles on the web, and videos on youtube with patient’s personal stories about their experiences with it — and every Cancer patient that uses Marijuana to ease their suffering benefits greatly from doing so.

    It is immoral to leave Marijuana illegal, for anyone, for even a second longer.

    For Cancer patients, its a matter of life and death.

    Cancer patients can’t wait.

    Medical Marijuana has an unmatched safety profile, and for people who suffer from so many diseases, of so many kinds, its a medical miracle — and the scientific evidence behind it is rock solid.

    For Cancer patients, Medical Marijuana encourages apoptosis and autophagy of Cancer cells, while leaving normal cells untouched, is anti-angigogenic, anti-proliferative, and is anti-angiogenic.

    Its also synergistic with chemotherapy and radiation therapy, making both more effective.

    For many Cancer patients its meant the difference between life and death.

    For everyone else, its a far safer alternative to Alcohol, and infinitely safer than Cigarettes.

    Either take them off the market too, or legalize Marijuana right now.

    2016 is too far away, Its too long to wait. Every year we lose more Americans to Cancer than died in WWII.

    Between now and the 2016 elections, roughly 1 MILLION Americans will die of Cancer.

    And Its a horrible way to die.

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