Pennsylvania could be the next state to get medical marijuana if a new bill, Senate Bill 1003, re-introduced by PA State Senator Daylin Leach passes through the Pennsylvania Legislature.
SB 1003 is essentially mirror legislation of House Bill 1393, which was debated and eventually died in 2010.
Pennsylvanians For Medical Marijuana say the current bill, once in committee should be renamed “The Governor Raymond P. Shafer Compassionate Use Medical Marijuana Act.” Shafer was Governor of Pennsylvania from 1967-1971 and a national leader of the moderate wing of the Republican Party (remember when that was a thing? “Moderate”?)
He was appointed by President Richard Nixon as chairman of the National Commission on Marijuana and Drug Abuse, and his panel would recommend marijuana “should not be placed on Schedule I of the federal Controlled Substances Act” and “should be decriminalized at the federal level.” Nixon, of course, ignored the suggestions (after all, Shafer had given the nominating speech for Nelson Rockefeller at the 1968 Republican Convention) and conservatives decided Shafer was a general nuisance after that. He died in 2006.
Sen. Daylin Leach released the following statement to Philly NORML with regards to the bill:
“I’m happy to have re-introduced Senate Bill 1003 and am hopeful it will be brought up for consideration by the Legislature. It is a common-sense bill that would simply give sick people access to medication so they feel better. Countless studies show marijuana can alleviate the side effects of many diseases. It’s time we give Pennsylvanians access to the treatment they need and deserve.”