HARRISBURG — The Pennsylvania Legislature has moved one step closer to legalizing medical marijuana.
The House voted 152-38 Monday night to approve a key amendment to a Senate bill that would set up a government and medically regulated system in which marijuana would be grown, processed and dispensed, with a prescription, to the terminally ill and patients suffering from various diseases and ailments that they and their loved ones say cannot be treated by conventional medicine. The vote, along with several others on related amendments, united moderate and conservative Republicans with blue-dog and liberalDemocrats — a scenario that seemed unthinkable just six months ago.
Beth McCormick, sitting high above the House floor, cheered and clapped at the historic unity she witnessed following more than 51/2 hours of private and public debate among lawmakers. But McCormick who has had a piece of her brain removed to control seizures, knows the bill has more legislative distance to travel before it helps her.
“I believe the legislative process is working because you need to have everyone from all these smaller areas working together,” said McCormick, 33, of Camp Hill, Cumberland County. “But it could work quicker for some of us patients because I don’t know when I am going to die.”…[MORE]