A political showdown over medical marijuana could soon be coming to Pennsylvania between lawmakers in both houses of the General Assembly and Governor Tom Corbett.
While both the state Senate and the House of Representatives have recently sponsored separate medical marijuana bills, Gov Corbett (R) has threatened to veto any medicinal cannabis legislation. That really comes as no surprise, considering Corbett was the first governor to hop onto the lawsuit against President Obama’s Healthcare Bill and also unsuccessfully attempted to file a subpoena against Twitter, ordering them to divulge the identity of two accounts that dared to criticize him during the 2010 Pennsylvania gubernatorial campaign.
The voices from the General Assembly ring more truthfully; Senator Daylin Leach (D-Montgomery) who introduced medical cannabis bill SB 1003 last year, told the Main Line Times: “It’s time to join the other states that are adopting this as a more rational approach ... We give people far more addictive drugs like Oxycodone and morphine, but God forbid if they use medical marijuana, somehow civilization will come to an end. It’s just an irrational policy.”
SB 1003 would allow patients to access medical pot via a physician’s recommendation and would also establish statewide dispensaries for easier access.
The House medical cannabis bill is HB 1393, which was never voted on in 2011 and essentially mirrors SB 1003.
Unfortunately, another factor beyond Gov. Corbett’s intolerance seems destined to doom medical marijuana legislation for another year in Pennsylvania; more pressing issues that state legislators are facing, like jobs and the economy.
All are important to be sure, but so is permitting patients to legally utilize the most effective medicine for their treatment. Ultimately, at least through the legislative process, it might take new leadership in the Pennsylvania Governor’s office to eventually legalize medical marijuana in one of America’s largest and most influential states – unless, of course, the General Assembly could muster enough votes to override Corbett’s promised veto.