Pennsylvania looks set to become the 24th U.S. state to legalize medical marijuana after the Senate Bill 1182 sailed through a Senate committee on Tuesday, though with some amendments. The bill is set to be tabled before the Senate on Wednesday for voting.
The altered version, which was cleared by the Senate Appropriations Committee by a 21-5 vote, bans patients from vaporizing or smoking medical marijuana. Rather, they will only access the drug as edibles, oils and tinctures, according to the Daily Chronic.
The committee also deleted several conditions that qualify a person to use medical marijuana such as Chron’s disease, HIV/AIDS, rheumatoid arthritis, and glaucoma.
Democrat Senator Daylin Leach and Republican Mike Folmer drew up the amended copy of the bill after the original one was stalled on Monday afternoon after some legislators insisted on a cannabidiol-only bill. Cannabidiol (CBD) is the non-psychotic ingredient of marijuana that is widely believed to alleviate chronic pain and epilepsy.
However, while Senator Folmer expressed disappointment at having the number of medical conditions that qualify a patient to access medical marijuana whittled down, he said the bill provides for an oversight board that will add more conditions after the program is implemented.
Since the current session terminates in November, lawmakers must pass the bill in all house chambers; otherwise, it will have to be re-introduced in 2015.
“While there are those advocating who are not happy with some of the changes, the goal is to get it over the finish line,” said Sen. Folmer on Tuesday. “I think we’ve crafted a bill that’s cautious, not crazy, and will at least be a good foundation to build on.” To register for a free 2-week subscription to ForexMinute Premium Plan, visit www.forexminute.com/newsletter.
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