Wednesday, March 16, 2016 was a historic day for my Commonwealth! Medical marijuana, which has been growing moldy in the House basement, was taken out and given the light of day! Senate Bill 3, The Raymond Shafer Compassionate Use of Cannabis, was finally voted on in the House of Representatives. It passed 149-43. Medical marijuana IS coming to Pennsylvania! The Senate has to concur with the changes the House made. Then it’s on to Governor Wolf’s desk. He promised to sign whatever time, day or night, that the bill hits his desk. He was there for the vote and tweeted “Now is the time to act!”
Senate Bill 3 passed in the Senate with a vote of 40-7 in May 2015. The House tried their best to kill it. They sat on it and did nothing. The head of the health committee was against it, so it didn’t have to get heard. Rep. Matt Baker wanted to kill medical marijuana. He failed.
I cried like a baby. I bawled. My cats gave me odd looks. My kids didn’t quite know what to think. Why was the boring political TV making Mom cry so much? I felt relief like I have never known. My state finally believes in me. All these years, all I wanted were less seizures. My state said no. Yesterday, they said YES! It has been such a long road, covered in seizures and bumps and bruises and blood. So many activists died while waiting. The end is finally in sight! PA has been languishing in prohibition for far too long. All of that is drawing to an close. The light at the end of the tunnel is bright green!
A great pain rose off my chest when the vote came down. The cloud lifted and the haze cleared. I’m not a criminal! I don’t have to move to Colorado! I can stay here and get the treatment I deserved. I’ve cried about it so many times. Now they are tears of joy and relief and happiness. Treatment is within reach for me! I am satisfied I will be able to get my precious medical card. I’m an epileptic. I can’t stay conscious! We should all know this by now: Marijuana reduces seizures. This law is for me! Of course, the fight is not over. There are many people who are left out. I promise you, I won’t stop fighting for you. Now we can be healthier while we fight.
As if all this wasn’t enough, Industrial Hemp Senate Bill 50 passed the Senate 49-0. We are on our way to join only a few other states who allow hemp to be grown on large agricultural scale. It is a legal crop. Let’s grow some hemp! It will be a lucrative crop for our state. Hemp has a few more hoops to hop through. They need to get a hearing in the House. The House is a lot less friendly than the Senate. They stonewalled medical marijuana for YEARS!
It may take years to get Pennsylvania’s programs running. Not everyone is happy with SB3. I’m giddy for the baby-step in the right direction. Two steps forward and one step back is still one step ahead. It has started. It cannot be undone. We are not a pioneer in this fight. Pennsylvania is late to the game, but we’re here now~!
In the meantime, we need to educate our doctors. We need to let them know they will be protected when they prescribe medical marijuana to their patients. We need them to know why they should.
Today we celebrate! The tides have turned. They are green and foamy. Pennsylvania will be growing marijuana and hemp. Hemp was once our major crop. (Why do you think there is a town named HEMPFIELD?!)
We are bringing hemp back to Hempfield!
We are bringing compassion and cannabis to the sick and hurting!
Please remember who voted against compassion and vote accordingly. Election Day is April 26th. Many House seats are up. You can check the vote here.
To all the Haters who said we couldn’t do it: Put this in your pipe and smoke it! Enjoy this picture of The Capitol Building lit up green in honor of SB3!
We weren’t last!