Pennsylvania Senate approves medical marijuana bill

Pennsylvania Senate approves medical marijuana bill

[JURIST] The Pennsylvania Senate [official website] voted Tuesday to approve a bill [SB 3 materials] that could bring medical marijuana to the state. The bill will now head to the House [official website] for consideration where proponents are optimistic it will have more success this year than the bill’s predecessor last year. The 40-7 vote came following a brief discussion on the bill. Senators Daylin Leach and Mike Folmer [official websites] the Senate Bill 3, which currently has 27 (15 Democrats and 12 Republicans) co-sponsors in both chambers of the Pennsylvania legislature. Under the bill, home cultivation of marijuana would be prohibited, and medical marijuana products would be grown by licensed cultivation facilities, which would distribute through state-regulated dispensaries. The state-regulated dispensaries would be allowed to be run by both for-profit businesses and non-profit organizations. This bill is expected to fare better than last year’s bill since some key Republicans in the House have expressed an interest in passing the bill, in addition to Governor Tom Wolf [official website], who has expressed support for reforming marijuana laws in Pennsylvania.

The legal use and sale [JURIST backgrounder] of marijuana for both medical and recreational purposes has been a heated issue among a number of states in the US the past few years. In April Georgia Governor Nathan Deal signed a bill [JURIST report] to legalize medical marijuana in the state of Georgia. Also in April the Arizona Supreme Court ruled in two separate decisions [JURIST report] that courts cannot prohibit parolees from using medical marijuana when used for medical purposes under the Arizona Medical Marijuana Act (AMMA). In March Colorado Attorney General Cynthia Coffman filed a brief urging [JURIST report] the US Supreme Court to throw out a lawsuit by Nebraska and Oklahoma challenging Colorado’s marijuana legalization law.