Is a Medical Marijuana Bill Close to Passing in Pennsylvania?
For the past few years, the Pennsylvania state legislature has been debating a possible medical marijuana bill to no avail, but it looks as though this may be the year that a bill may actually reach Governor Tom Wolf’s desk. The bipartisan effort sponsored by Democratic Senator Daylin Leach and Republican Senator Mike Folmer has been raised again this legislative session through Senate Bill 3 and would allow people over 21 suffering from serious debilitating conditions to have access to the drug.
If passed, the bill would most likely be signed into law, as Governor Wolf has already pledged his support. Before the bill reaches a vote, one more public hearing will be held to get community feedback in Pittsburgh on April 29. Two previous hearings were already held, one in Harrisburg on April 8 and the other in Philadelphia on March 24. Once the results of these hearings are presented, the bill will come to a vote.
Public Support for Medical Marijuana Legalization Is High
Based on the feedback from the hearings already held, public support for a legalization bill is high. In fact, many proponents have expressed high hopes that this will be respected, allowing a medical marijuana bill to pass in PA. Even a recent poll done by Quinnipiac University revealed overwhelming support for the bill among registered voters: 88 percent of respondents approved of using marijuana for medical purposes.
With such numbers, many are optimistic that the bill will be approved in the House this year. Last year, the same bill received overwhelming support in the Pennsylvania Senate but stalled in the House. This may not happen this time. If medical marijuana use is approved by the legislature this spring, it may be legal as early as the end of this year.
In the meantime, the debate rages on, and the specifics of what medical marijuana legalization in Pennsylvania would mean continue to be hammered out. Some say that this would be the first step towards recreational marijuana legalization for adults, but that possibility seems much farther off. For the time being, we will just have to wait and see what happens.
As it stands, even possession of a small amount of marijuana for personal use is a misdemeanor in Pennsylvania, punishable by up to 30 days in jail. A conviction for possession could have serious consequences beyond even the fine and potential jail time, including difficulty finding a job in the future. If you have been arrested for a marijuana or drug offense in Pennsylvania, you need to take this charge seriously. Call Worgul, Sarna & Ness, Criminal Defense Attorneys, LLC today at (412) 281-2146 for a free consultation on your specific case with an experienced medical marijuana lawyer.