Gov. Tom Wolf

Pennsylvania Senate Approves Revised MMJ Law

The Pennsylvania Senate voted 42-7 in favor of a revised medical cannabis law this week, according to a press release issued by the Marijuana Policy Project.

SB 3 was originally passed by the Senate in May, 2015. Afterwards, the bill was stalled in the House for 10 months before representatives passed an amended version. Now, the bill has been revised again by the Senate, and it is returning to the Pennsylvania House for a concurrence vote. If approved, SB 3 will go to Gov. Tom Wolf (D) for his signature — the final step toward becoming law. If the House decides to make any changes to the revised bill, however, the bill will return to the Senate for the third time.

Wednesday marks the last opportunity the House can approve the bill this month, otherwise activists will have to wait until May — a full year since the proposal’s first drafting — to learn if the government will provide state-sanctioned access to medical cannabis.

“We hope the House does the right thing tomorrow and votes for concurrence,” said Latrisha Bentch, founding member of the Campaign for Compassion, an organization of Pennsylvania patients and patients’ families that advocates for the normalization of cannabis treatment. “No more amendments, no more delays. It’s time to concur.”

SB 3 would allow qualifying patients to use and access medical cannabis when issued a recommendation from their doctor. Qualifying conditions include cancer, HIV/AIDS, seizures, autism, multiple sclerosis, PTSD, sickle cell anemia and intractable pain, specifically when more conventional therapies prove ineffective.

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