Neilson applauds passage of medical marijuana bill

HARRISBURG, March 16 – State Rep. Ed Neilson, D-Phila., praised today’s House passage of legislation that would legalize the use of medical marijuana in Pennsylvania.

“Today, Harrisburg was able to come together in a bipartisan fashion to ensure that citizens in our state who suffer from debilitating diseases can obtain the medicine they need,” Neilson said. “Misunderstandings about this medicine and fears about its potential abuse shouldn’t tie the hands of doctors who are trying to offer relief to their patients.”

The House passed an amended version of S.B. 3, which originally passed the Senate in May 2015. The amended bill would require a prescribing doctor to be registered with the Health Department before they could prescribe the use of cannabis.

“The need for this medicine has been great and the inability to acquire it has caused real pain throughout this commonwealth,” Neilson said. “I have heard of multiple families moving out of Pennsylvania to a state that allows medical marijuana simply to ensure a child or other loved one has access to the medicine. Patients shouldn’t be forced to decide between the medicine they need and breaking the law, and when this bill is signed into law they won’t have to.”

Under the bill, authorized doctors would be only be able to prescribe medical marijuana for the following conditions: intractable seizures, cancer, HIV/AIDS, ALS, multiple sclerosis, epilepsy, inflammatory bowel disease, Huntingdon's disease, Crohn's disease, post-traumatic stress disorder, glaucoma, autism and neuropathic pain and certain spinal cord injuries.

The bill now returns to state Senate for consideration of House amendments before moving to Gov. Tom Wolf’s desk. The governor has indicated he will sign such legislation.