Pennsylvania: Medical Marijuana Bill Has Bipartisan Support
By Steve Elliott
Two Pennsylvania state senators on Monday said they plan to introduce a bill to legalize high-CBD marijuana for medicinal use in an effort to help children who suffer seizures, and potentially other patients as well.
Senators Daylin Leach (D-Montgomery) and Mike Folmer (R-Lebanon) said their bill would help ensure people can get medical benefits from cannabidiol (CBD), a compound in cannabis which has medicinal uses but doesn't get you high, reports Marc Levy of The Associated Press.
It was the first time any medical marijuana bill has been introduced with bipartisan support in the Pennsylvania Senate, according to Leach. The wording of the bill, which would limit doctors to authorizing medicine derived from marijuana that has more CBD than THC, indicates a new trend on medical marijuana legislation: excluding high-THC varieties, which, of course, reduces its medical effectiveness, since THC provides just as many therapeutic benefits as does CBD.
The political game they are playing, of course, revolves around the "but this doesn't get you high" argument, and plays into Drug War fears of the marijuana high which have been inculcated in the sometimes gullible American public for years now (we're just starting to break out of that cage of ignorance, as a society).
The high-CBD marijuana which would be authorized by his bill could be used in place of harsh pharmaceuticals that are toxic, addictive or cause negative side effects, Sen. Leach said.
"There is no rational reason not to support giving a child this medication," Leach told a news conference packed with medical marijuana supporters.
The medicine can be delivered by dropper for children, and in pill form for adults.
"My plea today to the government is to leave the doctoring to the doctors," said Dana Ulrich of Reynolds, whose six-year-old daughter, Lorelei, suffers about 400 seizures a day.
Sen. Leach admitted the bill he is introducing with Folmer would not allow the full range of uses of medical marijuana that are allowed in other MMJ states, but said it is the "broadest concept" for which he could get bipartisan support.
"We are trying to accomplish the achievable," Leach said.
The possible downside to the "CBD only" school of thought on medical marijuana is that it could delay, by years, legalization of the entire range of cannabinoids and of herbal marijuana itself. The cannabinoids have been shown to have synergistic beneficial medical effects upon each other, and work best as a team, according to the latest scientific research.
(Photo of Sen. Daylin Leach: Daily KOS)