Lehigh Valley

Lawmakers unveil medical marijuana bill in Harrisburg

Lawmakers unveil medical marijuana bill in Harrisburg

HARRISBURG, Pa. - Could Pennsylvania be the next state to legalize medicinal marijuana or will a new senate bill be a jagged little pill too hard for lawmakers to swallow?

The bill has bipartisan support.

Some are hoping Pennsylvania becomes the 21st state to legalize medicinal marijuana.

But this bill only covers a specific kind.

"As I analyze this issue, there is no rational reason not to support giving these children their medicine," said Democrat Senator Daylin Leach.

Leach and Republican Mike Folmer say they rarely agree on the issues but when it comes to medicinal marijuana, these state senators wrote a bi-partisan bill to make one form of it legal in Pennsylvania.

The Compassionate Use of Medicinal Cannabis act would cover cannabidiol, a compound found in marijuana that's credited with various medical applications without providing a high.

"As a mother of a chronically ill child, you do whatever you can," said Pennsylvania parent Debbie Foster.

Because cannabidiols are illegal in Pennsylvania, Foster has taken her 15-year-old daughter to Colorado for treatment for severe epileptic seizures.

She says the medicine stops the majority of violent seizures and can give a child with epilepsy a normal life.

"This is a safe medicine. My daughter doesn't smoke it; she takes drops under her tongue. You can put it in caplets and take it like any other medicine. It does not get you high," said Foster.

This is not the first time Pennsylvania has taken on the issue of medicinal marijuana.

Representative Mike Schlossberg sponsored previous legislation.

He says while the Keystone State is closer than ever to passing it, it will still take some time before it happens.

"This bill, this session has more support than it ever has and at this rate we will keep going until we get there. I think that one day we will obtain it.  I just don't see it happening right now-- it's too much of a reach," said Schlossberg.

Schlossberg says Pennsylvania lawmakers will watch to see what other states with legalized medicinal marijuana do.

Governor Tom Corbett says he will veto any cannabis drugs and that marijuana is a gateway drug.

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