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Policy Analysis: The Compassionate Use Of Medical Cannabis Act

2387 words - 10 pages

I chose a very controversial Pennsylvania Senate Bill, No. 1182, the Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Act, which proposes to legalize the medical use of cannabis in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. The bill will allow medical physicians in Pennsylvania to prescribe medicinal cannabis to patients who would benefit from the positive attributes (Memorandum, 2014). The bill was introduced by Folmer, Leach, Teplitz, Ferlo, Fontana, Farnese and Wiley on January 15, 2014 (Senate bill 1182, 2014). The bill has been referred to the Senate Law and Justice Committee and was scheduled for a public hearing on Tuesday, January 28, 2014 (Senate bill 1182, 2014). There has been no further hearing or committee action.
In order to qualify for medical marijuana, a physician would complete an evaluation of the patient’s medical background and current medical condition (Senate bill 1182, 2014). The patient must have what is considered a “debilitating medical condition” in order to be prescribed this treatment (Senate bill 1182, 2014).
Pennsylvania State Nurses Association is supporting the Senate Bill 1182 (PA Nurses Pick a Side on the Medical Marijuana Debate, January 24, 2014). Betsy Snook, the CEO of the Pennsylvania Nurses Association defended marijuana because of the lack of studies that prove that marijuana is addictive, unlike illegal drugs or prescribed medications that are used and abused (PA Nurses Pick a Side on the Medical Marijuana Debate, January 24, 2014). Snook discussed a local family that struggles with their child that has up to 60 seizures per day and the medication and therapy that the child is being given is not stopping or reducing the amount of seizures for the child (PA Nurses Pick a Side on the Medical Marijuana Debate, January 24, 2014). Snook believes that medicinal marijuana would help this child’s medical complications (PA Nurses Pick a Side on the Medical Marijuana Debate, January 24, 2014).
On January 28, 2014, a hearing was held of the Committee on Law and Justice (Petitions and Remonstrances, 2014). Three mothers spoke about caring for their children that had severe medical conditions and veterans spoke in regards to their tours to Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan and their mental health issues upon returning back to the United States (Petitions and Remonstrances, 2014). Many members of the Democratic Senate are ready to move forward with this bill (Petitions and Remonstrances, 2014). Senator Ferlo stated that he would like medical research and trials to be completed on medical marijuana by drug companies and many others, so that marijuana would no longer be a Schedule I drug (Petitions and Remonstrances, 2014). Senator Ferlo also debated that medical cannabis has the ability to improve the quality of life for veterans with mental health issues, children with epilepsy, and all individuals suffering from incapacitating medical conditions (Petitions and Remonstrances, 2014). It was reported by Harvard Medical...

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