Senator Pat Stefano (R-32) today joined Senator Mike Folmer (R-48) and other supporters at a Harrisburg news conference to announce the reintroduction of legislation that will enable physicians to prescribe medical cannabis to patients in Pennsylvania.
Senate Bill 3 would allow patients who have a recommendation from their doctor to purchase and use medical cannabis from centers licensed by a to-be-created State Board of Medical Cannabis Licensing. The non-smoked and non-hallucinogenic form of the medicine would be administered under strict state regulation and medical direction.
Senate Bill 3 was introduced last session by Senator Folmer and passed by the full Senate by a vote of 43-7. Stefano, who is cosponsoring the legislation this session, said the measure has strong bipartisan support and needs to be passed and signed into law to help many patients, including children, receive life-saving treatment for various illnesses. Currently, 21 states and the District of Columbia have similar laws.
Stefano said he became involved in the bid to legalize medical cannabis after meeting Julie Michaels, a local teacher in his district whose daughter Sydney suffers from a debilitating disease that cause severe seizures. The Michaels family attended the news conference with Stefano.
“While currently there is no cure for this horrible disease, studies have shown that medical cannabis can lessen the frequency and severity of the seizures,” Stefano said. “Now it is up to us in the State Legislature to allow doctors to prescribe it.”
“Why are we standing in the way of potentially life altering medication in the form of medical cannabis if doctors feel that it could help those who suffer every day?,” he added. “Every day we wait, we allow thousands of people to needlessly suffer in Pennsylvania.”