A new medical marijuana bill has been proposed in the Pennsylvania Senate by a longtime medical marijuana advocate, Senator Daylin Leach (D-Montgomery), and a socially conservative senator, Mike Folmer (R-Lebanon). Sen. Folmer's conservative history makes him an unlikely supporter of the bill, however, after a battle with cancer and meeting potential medical marijuana patients, he has a new perspective.
We're not talking about banning Oxycontin, we're not talking about banning Percocet, we're not talking about banning Vicodin. If you're gonna say that we're afraid of the misuse of medical marijuana, you've gotta use that same philosophy and ban all the others also.
Do we want abuse of it? No, I don't want abuse of alcohol, but that's legal. This isn't about somebody sitting around lighting up a doobie, this is about helping peoplewho are sick.
Despite bi-partisan support in the Senate, some politicians are hoping the bill will fail.The opposition comes from other conservative senators as well as Governor Corbett. Despite increases in public support, new scientific studies, and the success of medical marijuana in other states, some politicians seem unwilling to consider the issue.
Erik Arneson, the spokesman for Chester Republican Dominic Pileggi, the Senate majority leader, says it won't change anything.
"I don't sense any significant change in the views of the members of the Senate on the issue," Arneson says. "And the governor remains clear in his stated intention to veto it if it ever were to pass. So we have no intentions of taking the bill up any time this session."
Even though Senator Pileggi and Governor Corbett aren't on board with this bill yet, there is strong support for bringing medical marijuana to Pennsylvania. A February pollshows that 82% of Pennsylvanian voters support medical marijuana.