Once again I pin my heart and my hopes to the legislative process. SB3 is being introduced into Pennsylvania Senate. Last year the Senate passed SB 1182: The Raymond Shafer Compassionate Use of Cannabis Act, but the House refused to play fair. Since it was an election year, that bill died with the end of session. We have a new year, a new session, a new governor, and a new name for an old bill. A bill that could have been the law by now. But former Speaker of the House Sam Smith refused to bring it the House Floor. We start over again at zero. Whether or not the new Speaker of the House, Mike Turzai, will play fair has yet to be seen. We will get a better idea on Tuesday. Will he run down the hall and refuse to meet his constituents who want medical marijuana today? (True story, he ran away last year.) The Senate Bill 3 is about to be put on the docket and the advocates are ready to rally. The snow storm will not stop us!
We have a green tide of popular opinion on our side and gubernatorial election promises to boot. Pennsylvania had one of the only Republican incumbents who lost their seat in November: Ex-Governor Tom Corbett. Our new Governor Tom Wolf campaigned on a liberal platform that supported our school, taxes on gas and oil companies, and immediate passage of medical marijuana. That’s what he promised us. I am going to hold him to that. We all are. Pennsylvania is sick and tired of waiting while our sick people suffer.
Tom Corbett’s lame excuses are cast aside and we will consider that facts. 23 other states allow medical use of cannabis. Philadelphia has decriminalized marijuana. A possession offense warrants a ticket, not a warrant. Recreational marijuana is for sale in Colorado and Washington. Washington DC, Alaska, and Oregon all voted to legalize marijuana in November. Colorado raked in so much tax money from the legal sale of marijuana they sent their residents a tax rebate.
Don’t sick people in Pennsylvania have a right to feel better? I would be there on Tuesday for the rally, but I can’t drive. Seizures stole my driver’s license several years ago. I have a hard time getting to the grocery store, I can’t get to Harrisburg to show them my face. It would be nice if I could. I want my legislators to know how terrible seizures are. I had a seizure last night. It was a short one, I didn’t fall over, I didn’t get hurt. Now I am as tired as a hibernating bear. I wish they could see me and understand. I would love to tell my story and trail off… lost in a seizure haze… Cannabis can help us. It has been used to treat epilepsy for centuries. How can you let us suffer? The Epilepsy Foundation is in full support of medical marijuana. “Not one more second lost.” One second is too many.
Epilepsy is just one of hundreds of conditions that can be helped by medical cannabis. The fact is anybody over the age of 21 can walk into a store and have a pot party (real thing) in one state and be arrested for self-medicating in ours. It’s cruel. Which side of history are we on? Pennsylvania signs boast the slogan “First in Independence.” Everytime I see the sign I snort. We won’t be first in independence until sick people have the freedom to medicate themselves as we see fit. TWENTY-THREE states allow it. We are wallowing in the nether world of prohibition. I just don’t want to have seizures. I want to stay conscious all the time. I don’t want to have to explain to my kids why mommy can’t do anything with them today. They know. They see the worst of it. If your parent or child was sick, wouldn’t you want them to have a safe and proven effective natural treatment? I do. Pennsylvania General Assembly, I’m looking at you.