CAMP HILL, Pa. -- A mother from Camp Hill, Cumberland County, is standing up for medical marijuana. Her son suffered from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. He eventually took his own life.
Donnamarie Feedman joined dozens of supporters of the drug at a rally in Harrisburg. The drug remains illegal in the Commonwealth.
At the rally, Corporal Barrett Thompson addressed the crowd by showing pictures of depressed army veterans. He said, "These pictures represent the hell I went through and veterans go through now."
Corporal Thompson returned from serving three tours in Iraq with PTSD and over 40 prescribed medications. Unlike Thompson, Donnamarie's son will never share his story.
She says, "At the height of his sickness, the VA had him on 21 pills per day. A lot of them were black box label pills and the only thing that helped him was smoking marijuana."
When Corporal Dane Freedman no longer had access to marijuana, he died.
Donnamarie says, "He tried, and that evening he ingested a lethal dose of alcohol and he shot himself in the heart."
Dr. Sue Sisley studies the impacts medical cannabis has on veterans who suffer from depression. She traveled from Arizona to relay a message to Pennsylvania Lawmakers.
Dr. Sisley says, "I'm hoping elected officials have the good sense to allow for compassionate access, it's time for commonsense to prevail in Pennsylvania."
Doctors say veterans won't get the attention they need until state lawmakers act. The bill remains in the State House Health Committee, but State Representative, Nick Miccarelli, of Delaware County, is hoping to change that through discharge resolution.
He says, "I put a memo out to my colleagues letting them know I'm going to be putting a district discharge resolution on Friday, asking for their support to get Senate Bill 3 out to the entire House floor for vote."
Under law, 25 members need to sign the discharge resolution before it can be considered by the full House chamber. We reached out to the Health Committee Chairman who opposes the bill. Representative Matthew Baker has told FOX 43 he believes the non-FDA approved drug will cause more harm.
Until the vote, mom's like Donnamarie will continue to rally.
"I will fight until my last breath to legalize marijuana for medical use as I saw first hand what it did and how it helped our Dane," says Donnamarie.