Davidson votes for medical marijuana bill that passes the House

HARRISBURG, March 18 – State Rep. Margo Davidson, D-Delaware, joined with a majority of her House colleagues to pass legislation that would legalize the use of medical marijuana in Pennsylvania.

Davidson said she voted for the bill (S.B. 3) because it would help people avoid relieving their pain by seeking out other narcotics and becoming addicted to drugs such as heroin.

The bill includes language drafted by Davidson that would include sickle cell anemia as a qualified medical condition to use medical marijuana.

"People suffering from sickle cell are usually prescribed opiates to fight the pain of the disease," Davidson said. "Medical marijuana has been proven to alleviate chronic pain and help reduce reliance on opiates."

According to the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, 23 states and the District of Columbia permit some form of medical marijuana and prescription drug deaths have dropped by 25 percent in states that permit medical marijuana.

The bill also includes Davidson’s language that requires the involvement of minority, women and disadvantaged businesses in the cannabis industry in Pennsylvania.

"If we are going to create a new industry in Pennsylvania to support medical marijuana, I want to ensure that every business has an opportunity to benefit," Davidson said.

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