State Senator Folmer Appears on MSNBC to Discuss Medical Marijuana

Republican State Senator Mike Folmer, from Pennsylvania’s 48th Senate District, appeared on MSNBC’s ‘Taking the Hill’ to discuss Senate Bill 1182, also known as the Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Act.

Senate Bill 1182 would allow physicians in the state to prescribe medical cannabis to patients who would medically benefit from the treatment. The bill is aimed to help a number of patients with illnesses, specifically children who suffer from seizures.

When Folmer was asked why he co-sponsored the bill, he responded, “I met with two parents. They came in and asked me if I would co-sponsor a bill by a Democratic Senator. They informed me, they gave me information, they gave me hundreds of papers – literally. I took that information, I read it, and I said ‘oh my goodness, I’ve been wrong’.”

The bill is co-sponsored by Democratic State Senator Daylin Leach, from Pennsylvania’s 17th Senate District.

While on the program, which is hosted by former PA-8 Congressman Patrick Murphy, Folmer pointed out the bill previously passed in the Senate by a vote of 43-7, with 20 Republicans joining Folmer in support.

Folmer believes the Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Act will pass in the next session, stating, “I’m very optimistic. The Governor-elect has been publicly in support, so I’m looking forward to a broader bill.”

In June 2014, a Franklin & Marshall College poll found that 84% of Pennsylvanians support medical marijuana – with 59% strongly in favor and 25% somewhat in favor.

December 29th, 2014 | Posted in Front Page Stories, Harrisburg, Top Stories | 26 Comments

26 thoughts on “State Senator Folmer Appears on MSNBC to Discuss Medical Marijuana”

  1. Sher says:

    Thank you for keeping this issue in the public eye, and thank you Senator Folmer for all your hard work on this bill. Many PA patients could be helped by this bill. The decision of what medicine is right for a patient should be between the doctor and patient, not a decision to be made by politicians. This can go far to save lives and improve the quality of life for so many. Everyone should contact their PA Representatives and Senators and demand that medical cannabis be made available to all PA patients who need it.

  2. Andrew says:

    i got attacked 3 years ago and left for dead my jaw was shattered i had a blood clot in my brain that lead to blindness i now have glaucoma insomnia and PTSD i took so many pain pills and sleeping pills nothing worked i smoked marijuana and all my pain was gone and i slept good for the first time in 3 years i got so depressed i addmitted myself to the psyc ward bc i was having suicidal thoughts and weird dreams when im medicated im happy and i feel alive medical marijuana needs to be legal its safer than alcohol andd cigarettes…legalize dont legal lies peace and love

  3. Deena Louise says:

    Thank you so much Mr. Murphy for helping us bring some much needed national attention to this cause! As the mother of a child with intractable epilepsy, I applaud the efforts that Senators Folmer and Leach have made. They have been champions for not only children, but for all of the patients who continue to suffer despite trying all available medical options. Cannabis has been unjustly vilified despite being proven again and again to not only not cause harm ( Indian hemp commission -1894, the Panama Canal Study-1929, The LaGuardia Commission- 1944, The Wooton Report- 1968,The LeDain Commission- 1972 and the most comprehensive study, the Shafer Commission report -1972), but it actually has medical benefits as well ( California Medical Cannabis Research CMCR studies, the government held patent #6630507,The Edgewood Arsenal Project run by Dr. Van Sim who said that their research pointed to the fact that “cannabis may be the most potent antiepileptic known to medicine” and the federal CIND program). We continue to fight and educate so that , one day, all patients can benefit…not just those who live in pioneering states. As for moving, as so many suggest that we do, please know that that is not as easy done as said. Unless you are independently wealthy, that is not an option…esp is you have no job when you get there and no support to help with your special needs child. And to Tom in Cornwall who is upset that Senator Folmer is wasting his time on “cheech and chong” pipe dreams instead of saving him money…please put down the whiskey sir, because I think you may have been drunk when you wrote such absurd comments! Senator Folmer took the time to educate himself and knows full well where priorites lie….they lie with life and the quality and quantity thereof for thousands of people! And for that, I thank him!

  4. Unsanctioned R says:

    Sen. Folmer is one of the few who can walk and chew gum at the same time.

  5. Confused Tom in Cornwall says:

    Has Mike Folmer smoked too much of this stuff? He ran for office and I voted for him because of his platform to straighten out corruption, stop the pay raises, and cut taxes. That is what I want him fighting for, not wasting time on some Cheech and Chong pipe dream. Hey Mr. Folmer get of out clown car and get back to work for taxpayers. I voted for Mike Folmer not Tommy Chong.

  6. WTF says:

    Something i don’t understand is people with children in Pennsylvania witht these terrible diseases who write things like “here in pa my child suffers so much with 1000 seizures a day whilst in Colorado kids have a normal quality of life…” Um let me tell you, if my kid had a disease with symptos as bad you claim, my ass would have been in colorado yesterday. Its bad enough that you can lobby for legalized marijuana but not so bad that you don’t feel compelled to a state where it is legal? What the *uck is wrong with you?

  7. Christine Taylor says:

    Pat – as your former law school classmate, I couldn’t be more honored that you have brought the issue of medical marijuana before the nation. Sadly, I am now a parent of a child with a rare form of epilepsy that medical journals define as “catastrophic”. As your show revealed, this is an issue for the nation, not just Pennsylvania. Thank you for your service on so many levels. Keep up the great work! I hope our paths may cross again.

  8. Unsanctioned R says:

    Don’t pee your hemp underwear just yet folks. This is not a Colorado styled bill at all. We’ve learned from their mistake. I do think we’ll have good success with this bill and the model will be accepted by most other states. Unfortunately, some states will be unable to put the Genie back in the bottle.

  9. Susan Love says:

    Thank you for covering this very important issue. I believe all would benefit from Medicinal Marijuana and am thrilled we have Representation in Pa willing to listen to it’s Citizens. Pa can definitely be a Model for other States as we move even more toward being a Lexicon of Sustainability.

  10. Charles says:

    I am a Retired Disabled Navy Veteran suffering from severe chronic lower back pain, neck since Dec., 2012 from two surgeries that failed. I’ve gone from Vicodin to Oxycontin for long acting pain and Oxycodone for short acting break through pain in combination. The Oxycontin I take is maintaining my pain to a level that it is manageable for me to get around daily but the Oxy level is high. I cannot take anything less other then the Oxy because it does not work the pain is too intense and the doctors and myself have found that the Oxy. works for maintaining the pain. I am unable to return to my job and has been released from work because of the Oxy. I am unable to get a job and or even drive with my CDL because of the Oxy. and from the side effects. There are days where the Oxy. effects me where I can’t even function and if I have an outbreak in severe pain I am totally nonfunctional for days. My life has been totally turned upside down. I also suffer from depression from the Oxy and pain, my sleep has been disturbed drastically, my sex life is gone, and my hobbies have been set aside along with my friends. I sleep throughout the day and lack interest in doing just about anything. Oxy is a powerful drug and here we have a natural plant that has been proven time and time again to help with pain without all the side effects like the Oxy does. I had to watch a DVD and sign off on that I was counseled and was given Naloxone Hydrochloride for accidental overdose! It’s my life and my health and I should be able to decide how I want to medicate in controlling my pain with a natural plant. It’s a plant, it’s natural, you can’t overdose on it so why do we continue to destroy peoples lives with medication like Oxy. I am all for Medical Marijuana and yes it should be tested, controlled and you should have a card to purchase it through a Medical Marijuana Pharmacy. Lets move forward on this, lets not live in the past or the dark and lets improve of lives of others. I really want my normal life back!

  11. Crystal young says:

    Thanks Senator Folmer for fighting for our sick kids and other ill Pennsylvania citizens that could benefit from medical marijuanna . So many of us have run out of other options. We have tried all the pharmaceuticals often with no relief and horrible side effects. Time is running out for many, we need to have this bill pas this year ! Thanks for your tireless effort , you are truly a hero to many !

  12. steventodd says:

    “Oh my goodness, I’ve been wrong.” ~ Republican PA State Senator Mike Folmer, upon listening to his constituents, reading the info they gave him and changing his mind to support medical marijuana. May all public servants practice such honesty and humility. You can learn from those who can’t afford lobbyists or campaign donations. And you can grow and change.
    Thank you, Senator Folmer.

  13. Cindy says:

    Thank you for sharing this important topic…. We soo need medical marijuana in PA…. Dr are prescribing Oxy like crazy when they could be prescribing medical marijuana for chronic pain. My fiance has been on long acting oxy since April 2014 & it doesn’t even help. Medical marijuana would help!!!! PLEASE Pass Medical Marijuana in PA!!!!!!

  14. Tracy Popalo says:

    Mike I have said this to you before and I will continue to shout it from the mountain tops, you, Senator Leach, and my amazing friends and activists have truly taken what I thought was despair and a death sentence for my daughter and given us hope, and a fight to save so many! Thank you for being Kylie Popalo’s hero!

  15. Diana Briggs says:

    Thank you to our Hero Senator Folmer and Angela Ferro for educating and advocating for all Pennsylvanian’s in need of Medical Cannabis!!

  16. Luke In PA says:

    Thank you Ryan Fucci and Patrick Murphy for covering this important topic. A regulated medical cannabis program for PA will allow adults and children to access a treatment option that may be their last hope or their best hope with the least amount of side effects.
    The citizens of PA need to make their voices heard and contact their State Senators and Representatives to urge them to consider a broad based medical cannabis program where science and medical personnel decide how best to utilize the cannabis plant and the medication made from it to prevent, treat and even cure disease.

  17. J Michaels says:

    Thank you for highlighting this incredibly important issue on your show. My child suffers from Dravet Syndrome and suffers hundreds, and sometimes thousands, of seizures daily. Current FDA-approved medicines do not help her. Children with this same disorder who live in legal states are seeing miraculous results through the use of medical cannabis. Why should a state line mean that my child should continue to suffer when help is available? Thank you Senator Folmer for continuing to battle for ill Pennsylvanians and veterans who will benefit from access to this God-given plant.

  18. Tim Moose says:

    Thank you Sen. Folder and Angela Ferro! Way to step up to the plate. I appreciate all of your efforts with SB3. A broader bill would help so may people, and God willing, pets too one day. Thanks again for bringing some light on the struggle of so many Pennsylvanians and keeping pressure on this very important issue.

  19. Christine Kaminski says:

    Thank you Senators and everyone fighting for this! This is a very important piece of legislation that needs to be passed so that our residents may live as healthy as they possibly can. Nobody should suffer needlessly from physical ailments which could be alleviated or cured altogether by using this plant. We used it as medicine before pharmaceuticals came along and it’s time to do so again. Thank you so much for your participation and assistance in getting medicine to people who need it.

  20. Traci Kroushour says:

    Thank you to Senator Folmer and to Angela Ferro! It is time for Pennsylvania to pass a good Compassionate Bill for all patients. Not one more child, veteran, or ill person should pass away because they didn’t have safe access to a treatment that could have helped them. It’s time for PA, actually past time for PA to pass this bill! Again Thank You Senator Folmer and Angela for bring this to the forefront and for representing PA professionally~!

  21. Dana Ulrich says:

    Thank you so much for keeping a spotlight the issue of medical cannabis in Pa. The people of our state desperately need a comprehensive medical cannabis program implemented as quickly as humanly possible. Senate Bill 3 will do just that.

    My daughter suffers from hundreds of seizures every day and she is the reason I began advocating for medical cannabis but I have learned so much and met so many people with so many medical conditions that could be helped by this legislation. I am one of the two mothers that Senator Mike Folmer spoke of on the show on Sunday. He has been a hero to so many of us. He has taken a stand where others have shied away.

    We cannot stand by any longer while the people of Pa suffer and die needlessly.

    Mr. Murphy, I am truly grateful for your support and I admire your courage for bringing this issue forward on your show.

    God Bless

  22. Les Stark says:

    Great article, important to a large number of people and very timely. We are essentially right on the verge of passing medical cannabis legislation. The new bill is called Senate Bill 3. Senator Folmer and Angela Ferro represented Pennsylvania very well and made us proud in front of a national audience. With Tom Wolf as our next governor we know that we can finally get this done in Pennsylvania!

    We are not quite there yet though, citizen action is required to see the ball into the end zone. Many are mobilizing now. Campaign for Compassion is doing great work. Pa. Advocates for MMJ is a group of outstanding and dedicated advocates who are making it happen. Keystone Cannabis Coalition is another group working for reform in Pa. and there are others on each side of the state. Action is required and the education process must continue.

    Great job all around everyone, congratulations!

  23. Nancy Schwartz says:

    Thank you Senator Folmer!! We would love to have a chance to see if this medicine could help our son, Alex. Alex has Trisomy 21, Hypotinia and Hypsarrythmia with seizures. Alex has not walked or talked yet… We wonder if the medicine he takes were replaced with this plant, could he do those things? We appreciate all you and the team have done to help PA gain access to this important medicine. Thank you!!

  24. Adrienne Leasa says:

    If ya don’t like cannabis you’re not gonna like the future! Big props to Senator Mike Folmer, who’s really got heart, compassion, and has really stepped up to the plate for Pennsylvanians who will benefit from the most healing plant on earth!

  25. A better future says:

    Thank you to everyone working to I get the word out and helpIng PA become the model it can be. We can do this, do it smartly, and help a lot people who have no hope today. Big thanks to those leaders in Harisburg making this happen.

  26. Unsanctioned R says:

    I’ve been impressed with how our legislature has handled this issue. I anticipate that we will be the model for many other states.

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