Last Update: May 21, 2015
Senate approves medical marijuana bill!
On May 12, the Pennsylvania Senate approved Sen. Mike Folmer and Sen. Daylin Leach's legislation to allow certain patients to treat their debilitating medical conditions with cannabis – the vote was 40-7! Gov. Tom Wolf (D) is ready to sign legislation that arrives at his desk.
Call and email your state representative to send Gov. Wolf this compassionate bill. The Keystone State is nearly surrounded by states where medical marijuana is legal, and polls consistently show that Pennsylvanians overwhelmingly support it.
SB 3 would allow registered patients to use medical cannabis and to safely access it from regulated dispensaries. To qualify, patients must have an approved medical condition, such as cancer, seizures, wasting syndrome, multiple sclerosis, PTSD, Crohn’s disease, or chronic pain. Unfortunately, smoking is not allowed and vaporization would only be allowed for patients with cancer, seizures, or PTSD. While the bill is not perfect, it’s a dramatic improvement over the status quo.
Are you a patient, clergy member, or member of law enforcement?
If you are a medical professional or a patient who might benefit from medical marijuana, or if you know somebody who might benefit from medical marijuana, we would like to hear from you. Additionally, if you are a law enforcement official, a person who was arrested for marijuana possession, an attorney, or a clergy member, please email [email protected] to learn how you can be of special help. Please include your address or your nine-digit zip code so we can determine who your legislators are.
As study shows racially disparate arrest rates, Philly decriminalizes possession
On October 1, 2014, Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter signed an ordinance decriminalizing marijuana in the City of Brotherly Love, making it the largest U.S. city to have done so. Beginning on October 20, the ordinance will remove criminal penalties for the possession of up to an ounce of marijuana and replace them with a civil fine of $25, similar to a traffic ticket.
Under state law, however, an individual arrested for possession of up to an ounce of marijuana in Pennsylvania can still be sentenced to a maximum of 30 days in jail and fined up to $500. A 2013 study by the American Civil Liberties Union found that although blacks and whites use marijuana at nearly identical rates, blacks in Pennsylvania are 5.2 times more likely than whites to be arrested for marijuana possession. Please email your legislators and let them know it’s time for the state to follow Philadelphia’s lead and decriminalize possession of small amounts of marijuana statewide.
Stay up to date on Pennsylvania marijuana policy reform
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