Medical marijuana vote put off by House; Rep. disappointed

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State Rep. Ed Gainey, D-Allegheny, said he’s disappointed the state House of Representatives avoided a vote on his amendment that would legalize medical marijuana in Pennsylvania.

Gainey planned to offer his amendment to S.B. 405, which was listed on the House voting schedule for the past two weeks, but Republican leaders never called the bill up for a vote. The amendment is essentially identical to S.B. 1182 that passed the state Senate 43-7 on Sept. 24

Last week, S.B. 1182 was referred to the House Judiciary Committee and the majority Republicans indicated they want to hold public hearings before moving the bill to the full House.

“We had the opportunity to improve the lives of Pennsylvania families suffering from cancer, Multiple Sclerosis and other horrible conditions who would benefit from a medical marijuana prescription. Unfortunately, the Republicans decided that other matters are more important than this critical health care issue, which has overwhelming support from people across Pennsylvania,” Gainey said.

“It’s obvious that Republican leaders know we had the votes to adopt my amendment, but they preferred to avoid the issue to delay its inevitable passage.

“The Senate held two public hearings on the bill and vetted it carefully in their chamber before passing it overwhelmingly with bipartisan support. I’m confident that this is a good piece of legislation that can help very sick people live better lives.

“It’s unbelievable to me that doctors can legally prescribe Percocet, Vicodin and other highly addictive drugs that are far more powerful than medical cannabis, yet instead of doing the right thing and making sure it’s available to thousands of sick kids, Republicans evaded their responsibility to lead on the issue.

“It doesn’t look like it’s going to happen this year, but I will be back at it again next year and we’ll have even more support to ensure that our sick friends, family members and neighbors have access to the best medicine available to relieve their pain and other harsh symptoms.”

The House returns to Harrisburg Monday for its final scheduled voting day of the 2013-14 legislative session. The Senate concluded its voting schedule Thursday. Both chambers will be in session Nov. 12 to elect leaders for the 2014-15 term.

8 comments

    • Brian Kelly

      Fear of Medical Marijuana Legalization is unfounded. Not based on any science or fact whatsoever.

      So please, all prohibitionists, we beg you, give your scare tactics, “Conspiracy Theories” and “Doomsday Scenarios” over the inevitable Legalization of Medical Marijuana a rest. Nobody is buying them anymore these days. Okay?

      Furthermore, if all prohibitionists get when they look into that nice, big and shiny crystal ball of theirs, while wondering about the future of Medical Marijuana Legalization Nationwide, is horror, doom, and despair, well then I suggest they return that thing as quickly as possible and reclaim the money they shelled out for it, since it’s obviously defective.

      The prohibition of marijuana has not decreased the supply nor the demand for medical marijuana at all. Not one single iota, and it never will. Just a huge and complete waste of our tax dollars to continue criminalizing sick patients and senior citizens in pain for choosing a natural, non-toxic, relatively benign plant proven to be much safer than daily handfuls of deadly, toxic, man-made, highly addictive, narcotic pain pills and other pharmaceuticals .

      If prohibitionists are going to take it upon themselves to worry about “saving us all” from ourselves, then they need to start with the drug that causes more death and destruction than every other drug in the world COMBINED, which is alcohol!

      Why do prohibitionists feel the continued need to vilify and demonize marijuana when they could more wisely focus their efforts on a real, proven killer, alcohol, which again causes more destruction, violence, and death than all other drugs, COMBINED?

      Prohibitionists really should get their priorities straight and or practice a little live and let live. They’ll live longer, happier, and healthier, with a lot less stress if they refrain from being bent on trying to control others through Draconian Marijuana Laws.

      • Brian Kelly

        When a loved one is in pain, wasting away unable to eat, and needs this marvelous herb in order to increase their appetite, reduce the overwhelming pain, and live as as healthy and happily as they can with the time they have left, let’s have the compassion to allow them to have it.

        Stop treating Medical Marijuana Patients like second rate citizens and common criminals by forcing them to the dangerous black market for their medicine.

        Risking incarceration to obtain the medicine you need is no way to be forced to live.

        Support Medical Marijuana Now!

        “[A] federal policy that prohibits physicians from alleviating suffering by prescribing marijuana for seriously ill patients is misguided, heavy-handed, and inhumane.” — Dr. Jerome Kassirer, “Federal Foolishness and Marijuana,” editorial, New England Journal of Medicine, January 30, 1997

        “[The AAFP accepts the use of medical marijuana] under medical supervision and control for specific medical indications.” — American Academy of Family Physicians, 1989, reaffirmed in 2001

        “[We] recommend … allow[ing] [marijuana] prescription where medically appropriate.” — National Association for Public Health Policy, November 15, 1998

        “Therefore be it resolved that the American Nurses Association will: — Support the right of patients to have safe access to therapeutic marijuana/cannabis under appropriate prescriber supervision.” — American Nurses Association, resolution, 2003

        “The National Nurses Society on Addictions urges the federal government to remove marijuana from the Schedule I category immediately, and make it available for physicians to prescribe. NNSA urges the American Nurses’ Association and other health care professional organizations to support patient access to this medicine.” — National Nurses Society on Addictions, May 1, 1995

        “[M]arijuana has an extremely wide acute margin of safety for use under medical supervision and cannot cause lethal reactions … [G]reater harm is caused by the legal consequences of its prohibition than possible risks of medicinal use.” — American Public Health Association, Resolution #9513, “Access to Therapeutic Marijuana/Cannabis,” 1995

        “When appropriately prescribed and monitored, marijuana/cannabis can provide immeasurable benefits for the health and well-being of our patients … We support state and federal legislation not only to remove criminal penalties associated with medical marijuana, but further to exclude marijuana/cannabis from classification as a Schedule I drug.” — American Academy of HIV Medicine, letter to New York Assemblyman Richard Gottfried, November 11, 2003

        • Brian Kelly

          Politicians who continue to demonize Medical Marijuana, Corrupt Law Enforcement Officials who prefer to ruin peoples lives over Marijuana possession rather than solve real crimes who fund their departments toys and salaries with monies acquired through Marijuana home raids, seizures and forfeitures, and so-called “Addiction Specialists” who make their income off of the judicial misfortunes of our citizens who choose marijuana, – Your actions go against The Will of The People and Your Days Are Numbered! Find new careers before you don’t have one.

          The People have spoken! Get on-board with Medical Marijuana Legalization Nationwide, or be left behind and find new careers. Your choice.

  • Ryan

    HELLO!! I think when it comes to this the community should have a right to vote on it. not leave it in the hands of some old ” No, marijuana is bad period. end of discussion.” type of law makers that don’t know anything and is oblivious to reality. PEOPLE HUMANS! ARE DYING BECAUSE YOU TOOK THEMAWAY FROM OUR NATURE!!.. our very own compounds that helps your neuro system is being restricted.. We did this for thousands of years and they can just restrict us? Since i am forced to live as an american follow these rules. Your restricted our very nature how we live to be this industrial robots. <– that is kind of vibe im getting hard labor for cheap pay..I have wrote a letter..

    Pennsylvania Leaders,
    My name is Ryan. I been through 2 brain surgery's. One, for neurofibromatosis (Von Recklinghausen's disease).
    the other I was hit with a cup in my head by my uncle which left 14 bone fragments lodged in my brain tissue I was 2 years old.. I then went through challenging events.. 8 years old i had my brain surgery for my tumor that is on my brain stem and spinal cord… when i was 11 years old to 12 years old i had 3 foot surgery's to reconstruct my feet they were forming wrong, now I have problems.. St Christopher's hospital for children in Philadelphia , Pennsylvania said when I was 10 and 1/2 years old I have the skeletal bone structure of a 8 year old. I was suppose to get hormonal treatment, I didn't receive any treatment for my disease. I wouldn't be able to afford the Big Pharma Medicine anyways they want to much money for what "could help me" but then kill me. I have more medical conditions.. My RA in my knees and its starting to effect my hands. I am confused why my fate of a chance to live a normal life is in the hands of people who obviously don't care or nor want to.. I see my American people dying for no reason.. its like we are behind a bar gate somewhat like a prison cell, on the other side is the treatment to have us live a pain free life and you guys won't just wave that pen to help us get the very thing that is more discreet then the chaos you are causing this city. The senator said you guys will get money if you just SIGN, on the other hand we just want our medicine. we don't care about the money. Im not angry I know the frustration and whatever other reasons you guys can't just look at a statewide beneficial bill and just place ink on paper, stamp that paper. Then become the first group of this great commonwealth to save thousands in just one day. You could give a little boy who has 100's of seizures a day to just have 40 of them a day in hours and you will be that kids hero. You guys put people in jail for this, WHAT?! then why isn't there a firing squad for when people murder someone? if this little plant is that toxic in our "civilized community" yes its that dramatic. I am a person who needs this medicine, you guys in the HOUSE representatives might not need it or nor care for it, but millions here do.. I believe in a state if millions vote yes, we should be allowed to have it without the senate or the HOUSE vote, obviously they don't care about the kids or even their own kids if they comedown with a disease that can be helped with medical marijuana. AMERICA LAND OF THE FREE!.. I guess our vacation is over, dam just wish my daughter and my new to come baby( hoping for another girl) could experience "THE LAND OF THE FREE"..I can't afford moving to get my treatment, I have made a Gofundme account, but no bites. I can't afford the move to Colorado, this program could have so much opportunities for my life and you guys are delaying my treatment and future because I have no choice but to LIVE MY ONLY LIFE I WILL EVER LIVE under your laws. I had $5000.00 but i was arrested for marijuana and that's how much money I had to spend to keep me out of CFCF. I should of bought the Oxycodone, right? I am disappointed that my treatment and my future will be delayed.. I told my story and I wish to have the proper treatment I need. FYI what makes a great leader is one that listens to his people. you guys clearly didn't listen when we all said we want this. 0 deaths by marijuana and 1000s saved by it. I'm one of the millions who can't get it and I would like my pain to go away from a non addictive thing also much healthier i prefer it.
    Thank you for reading

  • Herb Reason

    Pennsyltucky continues to bury its head in the sand at the expense of people suffering from serious illness…all the while this prohibition does little to nothing to reduce recreational usage anyway.

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