PA House Passes Medical Marijuana Bill

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HARRISBURG — The Pennsylvania House of Representatives passed a bill that would allow for medical marijuana use.

The House passed an amended version of Senate Bill 3 by a vote of 149-43 Wednesday.

Representatives passed multiple amendments to the bill on Monday and Tuesday.

The Senate originally approved the bill last May by a vote of 40 to 7.

Senate Bill 3 will allow doctors to prescribe marijuana to patients in pill, oil, and liquid form.

The medical conditions covered by the bill include:

  • Cancer
  • HIV/AIDS
  • Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS)
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Damage to the nervous tissue of the spinal cord with objective neurological indication of intractable spasticity
  • Epilepsy
  • Inflammatory bowel disease
  • Neuropathies
  • Huntington’s disease
  • Crohn’s disease
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder
  • Intractable seizures
  • Glaucoma
  • Sickle cell anemia
  • Severe chronic or intractable pain of neuropathic origin or severe chronic or intractable pain in which conventional therapeutic intervention and opiate therapy is contraindicated or ineffective
  • Autism
  • “Terminally ill:”  A medical prognosis of life expectancy of approximately one year or less if the illness runs its normal course.

The bill will now go back to the Senate for a final vote before it can head to the governor’s desk.

Governor Wolf has said he will sign legislation for medical marijuana.

32 comments

    • Barbara Adams

      HAVE SUFFERED FROM PTSD FOR 18 YEARS!! YOU THINK THIS IS A PICNIC FOR ME OR WHAT!!! I SERVED MY COUNTRY HONORABLY, DO YOU REALLY THINK I DESERVE THIS?? MY LIFE HAS BEEN DESTROYED FOR GROWING MEDICAL MARIJUANA TO TREAT MY SYMPTOMS, I HAVE LIVED IN POVERTY DUE TO THIS ARREST, EVEN THOUGH I WAS NEVER ARRESTED IN MY LIFE BUT THIS IS THE THANKS I GET FOR PUTTING MY LIFE ON THE LINE FOR MY COUNTRY!! YOU PEOPLE ARE EVIL AND SELF SERVING INDVIDUALS WHO THINK OF NOTHING BUT YOURSELF!!

  • the duke of THE LEPRECHAUN STAGE COACH

    Medical yes , personal no…it affects the brain far too much.
    We have far too many zombies out there now…but then again why are they like that?
    Because their parents were stoned all day…and the beat goes on.
    Pump iron not pills,meds,and so on.

  • Warren Searfoss

    The only problem here is the state driving laws… you can smoke a joint today and get stopped 2 weeks from now and it will show up in a blood test and you will be charged for driving under the influence… right now there is no set level.. just like certain medications… you can be charged even though the affects of the drug are long gone… that law is what really has to be changed .. too many peoples lives have been ruined by that…

  • The majority

    Let’s vote all the republicans out since they are the ones who have put up the roadblocks to legalization. I for one am voting straight democrat from now on and forward. Anything but republican. Also, they’re just playing with us on this no smoking clause so we can all go buy a vape pen for like 500 bucks. Let’s play along and demand that oil, liquid and pills be made available immediately. We don’t need growers for that we can import it from other states. We don’t need dispensaries either….we can use our pharmacies. Let’s treat this like a real drug not a novelty. Let’s take the money making middlemen out of this equation. Bottom line ….marijuania should be legalized for personal use and the people should be allowed to grow their own. Is there any doubt why the political firestorm is as it is?

  • lower our taxes

    its a start but make it legal like cigs and beer, like other states, collect taxes and then PA wont have a cash issue, well the government and wolf dont know how to do budgets or spending so we will always have issues but it will help

  • Robert KOCHER

    What a great day for patients. Although it is bitter sweet, this day should not have been pushed to the back burner to be voted on just in time for the Pa. Primaries. How many people suffered needlessly so that he Republicans could vote on this great legislation just in time for the election WHAT A SHAME!!!
    DO YOUR JOB and since the rest of us have to sacrifice, WHEN ARE THE LAWMAKERS GOING TO TAKE A CUT?

  • Look at the evidence

    Evidence supporting use of cannabinoids for medical indications is weak and limited to a small subset of conditions for which their use is legal; moreover, the evidence is inferior to that required by the FDA for other pharmaceuticals. In addition, labeling of these products appears to be highly inaccurate. Editorialists list a wide range of concerns and criticisms and conclude that clinicians have been put in an untenable position by being asked to prescribe an FDA Schedule I controlled substance with little evidence of benefit and substantial evidence of harm.

    Whiting PF et al. Cannabinoids for medical use: A systematic review and meta-analysis. JAMA 2015 Jun 23/30; 313:2456.
    [PubMed® abstract]

    Vandrey R et al. Cannabinoid dose and label accuracy in edible medical cannabis products. JAMA 2015 Jun 23/30; 313:2491
    [JAMA article preview online]

    • This be the truth

      Ha! You must work for the pharmaceutical industry. Get real! The only reason the evidence is lacking is because our government has fought against Marijuana for their own benefits for all these years. Anyone who smokes pot knows the benefits. I have chronic pain and I know the facts of Marijuana and how it reacts to my pain. It is such a huge help in my foot pain. So take your nonsense somewhere else. Or better yet just shut up!

      • Look at the evidence

        Decisions in the medical field are based largely in part on evidence that drives algorithms with respect to medical planning and execution. What you stated is anecdotal evidence, o the lowest tier evidence in the scientific field. The studies mentioned above are large scale multi-center studies that have more statistical power and validity than the anecdotal evidence you provided. Until some evidence comes out that proves the contrary, I will continue to base my beliefs in proven fact.

        On a similar note, you should check out the CDC’s recommendations on management of chronic pain with non-opiate pharmacotherapy.

        Also, your ad hominem attacks are amusing. Please, keep them coming.

      • Look at the evidence

        Here’s the rest of the article from a well-vetted peer-reviewed journal:

        More than 20 states have legalized marijuana use for various medical conditions. To explore the evidence for medical marijuana efficacy, researchers conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis of 79 trials that involved 6462 patients. Four studies were judged to be at low risk of bias, whereas 55 studies were judged to be at high risk, mostly because of incomplete outcomes reporting. Although most studies were reported as double-blind, their blinding methods were considered inadequate in many cases. Often, the various benefits reported were not significant statistically.

        The investigators found moderate-quality evidence that cannabinoid use might benefit patients with chronic pain or muscle spasticity; they found low-quality evidence that marijuana use prevents nausea and vomiting secondary to cancer chemotherapy, leads to weight gain in patients with HIV, promotes uninterrupted sleep, or lessens tic severity in Tourette syndrome. No evidence of benefit was shown for several other conditions, including depression, anxiety disorder, psychosis, hepatitis C infection, Crohn disease, Parkinson disease, and glaucoma; at least some of these are indications for which marijuana use is legal in some states. Cannabinoids were significantly more likely than placebo to be associated with dizziness, nausea and vomiting, sleepiness, disorientation, confusion, and hallucinations.

        In another study, researchers tested the cannabinoid content of 75 edible marijuana products (47 different brands) purchased at dispensaries in San Francisco, Los Angeles, and Seattle. Only 17% of these products were labeled correctly; 45 (60%) contained cannabinoids at levels at least 10% lower than those listed on the label, and in 17 (23%), cannabinoid levels were at least 10% higher than labeled.

      • Science is the new religion

        You should read his links, they’re quite funny.

        “Four (5%) trials were judged at low risk of bias, 55 (70%) were judged at high risk of bias, and 20 (25%) at unclear risk of bias” A meta study with the rtc score of 70% bias is not a good study to base your information on.
        The second one is even worse.
        They studied the label ingredients on edible pot vs. What they actually contain. Ie they studied RECREATIONAL edibles and not the liquid or pill form.
        They also have a bias disclosure on the bottom.

        Moral of story, read things before accepting them as fact. Too much junk bias science getting in the way of helping sick people and our freedom.

        Don’t like pot? Okay, then don’t smoke it.
        Don’t let your BELIEFS get in the way of peoples NEEDS.

      • Look at the evidence

        Valid point. Let us go with that then. Let us say that the aforementioned data is in fact absolute bias (though almost nothing in medicine is absolute but rather probability). Does the absence of evidence lead to de facto evidence in the affirmative? Surely that paradigm cannot be true in this regard can it?

    • Science is the new religion

      70% bias is a huge number. So “let’s just say it’s 100% bias”, I agree basing your meta study (which included 48 studies out of 22,000 globally, which is a joke) with a 70% biased threshold might as well be a 100%. That’s too high a percentage with to little of studies included for me to ignore and must conclude the information you gathered from these sources to be inaccurate.

      Using these inaccurate statements to come to the conclusion that there’s not enough information for clinics is silly. Cocaine is a schedule 2 drug, meaning clinics can apply for trials, but not marijuanna, no you gotta jump through many hoops for that. I’m sure we can both agree the schedule 1 substance listing is a joke and needs to be reversed.

      Every year we read about how it’s helping reduce seizures, reducing glaucoma, and pain management (when properly applied). The science may still be fuzzy but postive results are indeed flowing. Can you really say there’s no medical benefit to this?
      I know you’re gonna say “but that doesn’t mean it should be medically legal”.
      Yes it does
      Can you show me any harmful effects in states that legalized medically?
      In fact check out the TWO studies that concluded in states that approved it, opioid use fell and deaths associated with it. That alone is a huge tool in fighting heroin and opioid addicted, because personally, i’d rather a town of addicted stoners than a town of people on painkillers. At least the streets would be littered with bags of chips instead of needles.

      All joking aside, the fear of pot is too ingrained and has impeded the human race. We all know that smoking a joint is not going to lead you to raping, killing, and kicking puppies. It was just 60s propaganda. The fact the government hasn’t changed its scheduling of the class means the state must step in and correct this wrong. This opens the door for better understanding and that information we lack on how to best use this drug.

      Stabding in the way of this is no different to me than someone with a bible saying my BELIEFS trump (lol) your NEEDS.

      Also, out of curiosity, how do you feel about GMOS?

      • Look at the evidence

        I agree. Making it a schedule 2 would be a step in the right direction. And I agree with you that the negative feelings with regard to Marijuana are embedded in society. I have no problem with using the non hallucinogenic purified compounds found in Marijuana. That would be fantastic and something I support fully.

        See, there is common ground in argument. Thank you for being civil and most importantly, educated.
        With regard to GMOs, I am ok with them (to keep it succinct)
        Last word, I appreciate your wordplay with “trump”! Witty indeed!

    • Get with the program

      You are a joke! You base your argument on facts from studies that were set up to disprove Marijuana having any medical significance. The reason these studies were conducted was so the government and the pharmaceutical industry could fall back on such bullshit facts and say that Marijuana is a harmful drug that does not have any medicinal value. You my friend are blinded and it is men and women like you that should be held accountable for this crime of depriving us hard working citizens from such an extrordinary plant that can do so much good. If there was as much time and effort put forth into researching Marijuana’s benefits we would be so much better off in the real world that I live in. You should come visit this place sometime. It’s quite corrupt but the good people of this world are extrordinary people and the wonders of this place are breath taking and beautiful. Good day, sir/ma’am.

  • I have needs too

    There are so many other things Marijuana would be useful for but of course you don’t find them on this sad excuse of a list. No wonder why people buy it illegally. Guess that’s what I’ll be sticking to.

  • Nick

    You only need to pay $200,000 to register and also have $2 million in capital to get a license as a grower or processor. And also pay $10,000 a year to renew it. Talk about a barrier to entry.

  • Valfreyja

    Well, I promised I’d be back to eat crow if this ever passed the PA House, and here I am. I really thought we’d be a long standing hold out on this issue, but sure enough we have a real shot at passing this legislation for the benefit of people in need. It’s a dramatic 180 from even just 10 years ago. Really, in a state so terminally backwards, it’s a refreshing change to be proud of what my state legislature does for once. Good job everyone. Let’s get this to the governor’s desk, shall we?

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