Advocates for the legalization of medical marijuana gathered in Harrisburg recently as the State House of Representatives considered Senate Bill 3, which would legalize marijuana use for a variety of medical conditions including cancer, epilepsy, multiple sclerosis, HIV and AIDS, post-traumatic stress disorder and other conditions.
Tiffany Kuenzi of Norristown brought her four children, including her son Dillon, 9, who has intractable epilepsy, to the Capitol to show support for the bill.
The Senate passed the bill in May 2015 after having passed another legalization bill in 2014. It wasn’t until March 14, 2016, that the bill reached the House floor for consideration.
“I hate feeling like a criminal for something that can truly truly help,” says Brandon Genescritti, 29, McConnellsburg, Pa., as he waited for the House to vote on March 16. Mr. Genescritti used marijuana when he lived in Montana, where it is legal, for pain issues related to being a “little person.”
The House voted to legalize marijuana, 149-63. Advocates hoped this would be the last hurdle before the bill went to the governor’s desk to be signed into law. But, in recent weeks, concerns with “flaws” in the bill have been raised by legislators, according to a March 25 story by the Philadelphia Inquirer. Sen. Mike Folmer, D-Lebanon, the bill’s sponsor, wants to amend the bill and have both chambers vote again. Sen. Daylin Leach, D-Montgomery, the bill’s co-sponsor, told the Inquirer, “If we send it back to the House, we may never see it again.” Mr. Leach added that he prefers that the Senate accept the House bill and iron out any flaws through the courts and the regulatory process.