Parents of children with severe forms of epilepsy are rallying behind a bill that could legalize medical marijuana in Pennsylvania. It will be debated on Tuesday at a hearing in the Capitol. The bill is called the Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Act.
Latrisha Bentch is one of its supporters. She has a 5-year old daughter named Anna who suffers from epilepsy and has hundreds of seizures every day. “Her brain seizes so frequently that it’s impossible for her to really start to retain memories. She’s in survival mode” said Bentch. Her daughter has tried different diets and drugs in hopes of finding the right combination that would stop the seizures, but they haven’t worked.
Bentch is part of a group of parents that support the bill. Governor Corbett has publicly said that he would not sign a bill into law that would make medical marijuana legal, but he has instructed the Physician General to monitor any clinical trials for a strain of marijuana that doesn’t get you high. When asked about the affects of certain drugs that her daughter is already taking she said “our children are already high. Our children are high on pharmaceuticals right now.”
Democratic State Senator Daylin Leach and Republican State Senator Mike Folmer co-sponsored the bill. Folmer said getting it passed could be tough, but that he hopes to change the Governor’s mind. “It’s my responsibility to help educate. All I ask from the Governor is that he would be able to sit down with me and speak with me one on one” said Folmer.