Schweyer lauds House passage of medical marijuana bill

HARRISBURG, March 16 – State Rep. Peter Schweyer praised today’s House passage of legislation that would legalize the use of medical marijuana in Pennsylvania.

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 Department of Health before they would be authorized to prescribe the use of cannabis for the following conditions: intractable seizures, cancer, HIV/AIDS, ALS (Lou Gehrig's disease), multiple sclerosis, epilepsy, inflammatory bowel disease, Huntingdon's disease, Crohn's disease, post-traumatic stress disorder, glaucoma, autism and neuropathic pain for which traditional therapies are contraindicated as well as other neuropathies and certain spinal cord injuries.

The main amendment of the bill was the result of a bipartisan task force, of which Schweyer was the only Lehigh Valley member, which worked together for months to craft a bill that would be acceptable to a majority of legislators.

"It’s a great day in Pennsylvania and while it took a long time, we are closer than ever to finally seeing the legalization of medical marijuana," Schweyer said. "I’m proud to have been a part of a working group of legislators from both sides of the aisle who put politics aside and placed the health and well-being of people at the forefront.

"There is a real need for this critical treatment option for many Pennsylvanians, including children and veterans who are trying to cope with a variety of debilitating illnesses. Doctors are one step closer to helping patients, while patients are closer to being able to make decisions about their health and well-being. 

"My constituents and people across the commonwealth have made it clear that they support legalizing medical marijuana in Pennsylvania. I am hoping this legislation moves quickly to the governor for his signature."  

The amended bill returns to the state Senate for consideration of House amendments before it can move to Gov. Tom Wolf’s desk.