Marijuana Legalization 2015: Pennsylvania Approves Medical Pot

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May 13, 2015 09:50 AM EDT

Pennsylvania senators approved a bill with a 40-7 vote that would legalize the use of medical marijuana. The bill has been forwarded to be voted by the House.

In the bill, smoking marijuana and edible forms of it will remain illegal. However, doctors can prescribe weed in other methods such as ointments, nebulizers, tinctures, oil, pills, and gels, according to CBS Philadelphia.

There was a similar bill that was passed last year but didn't make it to the House floor because it was passed late.

Dana Ulrich, one of the supporters of the bill, recalled what happened last year.

"Going into the House, of course, we're nervous because we know we have a hill to climb," she told Penn Live. "There's a lot of education that needs to be done, but we are confident that if we can do our job as advocates in educating them, then they're going to get the message. They're going to vote on the side of science."

The medical marijuana bill, formally known as Senate Bill 3, was introduced by senators Daylin Leach and Mike Folmer. It has 27 co-sponsors, consisting of 12 Republicans and 15 Democrats, in the Pennsylvania legislature.

"This bill has had many individuals working hard to help the broadest group of people we possibly can without further delay," Folmer said via The Daily Chronic. "I am so thankful for the additional amendments offered by my colleagues to expand the bill even further to help Pennsylvania's suffering patients."

"The support of so many in the Senate and the many, many advocates has been overwhelming and I cannot thank everyone enough," Folmer said. "I believe in its present form Senate Bill 3 represents a balance between the advocates who want greater access to medical cannabis and those who continue to have concerns. Hopefully we have established a solid foundation for consideration and deliberation in the House."

The bill was amended last Monday. The only parts of the cannabis plant allowed are tetrahydrocannabinol and cannabidiol. Vaporization could be prescribed for patients with PTSD, cancer, seizure or as advised by a doctor, reports the Washington Times.

The qualifying medical conditions include cancer, Lou Gehrig's disease, wasting syndrome, multiple sclerosis, AIDS, glaucoma, Crohn's Disease, diabetes, Parkinson's disease, epilepsy and seizures, fibromyalgia, chronic pain, traumatic brain injury, and post-concussion syndrome.

A poll by Quinnipiac University showed that 88 percent of its respondents living in Pennsylvania are in agreement with the use of medical marijuana.

Folmer hopes that the medical pot legislation would make it to Gov. Tom Wolf by June.

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