I saw a Facebook post by Pittsburgh NORML that made me very happy. According to the Facebook post, 'The first Republican to sign in support for HB1181 --supporting the legalization of medicinal marijuana in Pennsylvania -- State Rep. Jim Cox! PittsburghNorml thanks you!' It's not everyday that a medical marijuana bill on the East Coast gets Republican support. If there's any state in America that needs medical marijuana, it's Pennsylvania.
Pennsylvania House Bill 1181 would legalize medical marijuana in the state. It currently has nine sponsors (including Mr. Cox). The bill has provisions for one dispensary per every 250,000 residents. Unlike recent states, which do not allow home cultivation, this bill would allow up to 6 plants in addition to the one ounce possession limit. Six plants would produce way more than that of course, so I'd imagine that number would be revisited, which was the case in my home state of Oregon. If legalized the bill would cover the following conditions:
(1) cancer, glaucoma, positive status for human immunodeficiency virus, acquired immune deficiency syndrome or the treatment of these conditions;
(2) a chronic or debilitating disease or medical condition or its treatment that produces one or more of the following: cachexia or wasting syndrome; severe or chronic pain; severe nausea; seizures, including, but not limited to, those characteristic of epilepsy; severe and persistent muscle spasms, including, but not limited to, those characteristic of multiple sclerosis or Crohn's disease; or
(3) any other weakening medical condition or its treatment that is recognized by licensed medical authorities as being treatable with marijuana in a manner that is superior to treatment without marijuana.
You can read the full bill here. If you have time, consider sending Pennsylvania State Representative Jim Cox a message thanking him for stepping up. If you want to donate to Pittsburgh NORML so they can keep up their good work, donate here.