Republican, conservative, Christian Senator Mike Folmer is a prime sponsor of Senate Bill 1182, which would legalize medical cannabis in Pennsylvania.
"I have never felt more confident or right about any bill I have prime sponsored," Folmer said.
Folmer says when they wrote Senate Bill 1182 they not only looked at the 20 other states where it is legal, but our very own Liquor Control Board.
"We kind of used that as a model to make sure we were going to have these regulations, and these regulations have to be done because the FDA has marijuana or medical cannabis as a Schedule I drug, which is mind boggling to me to this day," said Folmer.
Under the bill, a medical cannabis board would be formed to regulate medical cannabis. An advisory council would review all certifications and the Bureau of Medical Cannabis Control would handle enforcement.
The medicine would be grown at medical cannabis farms by a licensed grower. From there, the medicine would be transported in unmarked vehicles to either a manufacturer, which could put the medicine in different forms, or it could go to a compassionate care center, run by a registered nurse, where patients would pick up their medicine.
All patients would be required to have an ID card issued by a doctor or psychiatrist.
"This bill keeps it in the realm of medicine. This is not about having a hangnail and being able to get a medical card," said Folmer.
"If I can get the bill to the floor for a vote, I believe firmly in my heart we would pass this out of the Senate," said Folmer. "Then we have a another battle going on over in the House, but if you are truly pro-life then you should be pro-this, because this is not only about pro-life but about the quality of life."
Folmer says all regulations in the bill are needed because the FDA considers marijuana a Schedule I controlled substance, which means they believe is has no medical benefits.
However, Folmer points out that the government holds a patent on cannabinoids, a compound of marijuana. The patent acknowledges that cannabinoids can be used in treatment of diseases such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's.
Senate Bill 1182 currently has 14 sponsors.