Pa. lawmakers hold medical marijuana hearing - abc27 WHTM

Pa. lawmakers hold medical marijuana hearing

Posted: Updated:

The Senate Law and Justice Committee held a public hearing on Senate Bill 1182, the first bipartisan bill to legalize medical cannabis.

More than a dozen people testified before the committee, both for and against the bill.

Those in favor included parents of children with epilepsy, veterans with post traumatic stress disorder, the PA Nurses Association, organic chemists and Dauphin County Coroner Graham Hetrick.

"I do support this act, because I believe that cannabis has proven through research to have great potential. I think that denying patients and parents the latest therapies using cannabis is not the proper role of government. I do believe regulation should be role of state, and it should be strictly controlled," said Hetrick.

The Pennsylvania Medical Society called for more studies.

"We believe there is potential. There is certainly great anecdotal evidence and we need to find out scientifically what is going on," said Michael Fraser, Executive Vice President of the Pennsylvania Medical Society.

The Pennsylvania Elks Association took a harder stance against the bill.

"We believe this measure will only lead to additional avenues for unlawful procurement and use of marijuana," said Steven Kaylor, Drug Awareness Chairman of the PA Elks State Association. "It is recognized that the abuse of prescription drugs in prevalent in today's society. The legalization of marijuana provides one more substance that can be illegally obtained and abused."

Testimony from Josh Stanley changed one senator's stance on the issue. Stanley is the cofounder of the Realm of Caring, a non-profit group already growing and administering medical cannabis in Colorado.

"I am certainly compassionate to all the stories, but I wanted to know about the science and how the industry works. I thought you were quite thorough and knowledgeable, so I move from the skeptic and opposition to I will be co-sponsoring the bill," said Senator Anthony Williams (D-Philadelphia).

The Senate Law and Justice Committee will now decide if Senate Bill 1182 will have another hearing or go to the Senate for a vote.

Powered by WorldNow