Pennsylvania has become the latest state in the union to legalize medical marijuana. With the Keystone State in the green column, that means nearly half of U.S. states now permit marijuana to be used as a treatment option.
According to Penn Live, a record number of supporters—including prominent Republican advocate Senator Mike Folmer—turned out the Capitol Rotunda in Harrisburg to watch Democratic Governor Tom Wolf sign the bill into law.
“Pennsylvania state lawmakers were hailing the passage of the bill as a model of bi-partisanship, but it remains a fairly restrictive take on medicinal marijuana usage.”
It was estimated that it will be nearly two years before the infrastructure exists to start serving patients.
And while state lawmakers were hailing the passage of the bill as a model of bi-partisanship, it remains a restrictive take on the medicinal usage.
Doctors will only be able to to prescribe marijuana for 17 conditions, including cancer, multiple sclerosis, epilepsy and Crohn’s Disease. Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and autism will also be among the covered.
Initially, the amount of dispensaries allowed in the state has been capped at 50, and all the marijuana products sold will come from crops grown in-state. Currently, the law does not permit patients to smoke marijuana, or buy pre-made edibles.
Dispensaries will only sell pills, topical creams and oils, but since menstrual pain isn’t on the list of approved conditions, that means Whoppi Goldberg’s line of ladies cannabis products still won’t be welcome on state shelves.
While the new law might not be broad enough to satisfy many medical marijuana advocates, for anyone familiar with the byzantine laws which govern the sale of alcohol in Pennsylvania, they’ll come as no surprise.
But it’s a great first step for the state, and gets us closer to a country where a majority of the states agree that marijuana is a viable treatment option, and not, as the Drug Enforcement Agency still contents, a drug with no medicinal value.
[ via Penn Live ]