The Pennsylvania General Assembly made a fool of me again. The roller coaster of legislation swept me away. I thought we had finally done it this time. The House passed a medical marijuana bill! All we needed was the Senate to concur. It was their bill, they already passed it. (Twice, if you count the first MMJ bill that the House killed in 2014.) I thought we had won a great victory. Another great illusion was pulled off. It was all smoke and mirrors. I was foolish to be excited.
Of course, the Senate couldn’t concur. All my hope and joy have bled into bitterness and betrayal. 88% of Pennsylvania’s approve of medical marijuana. Why must the Senate hijack our dreams? All they had to do was agree. They passed the bill over a year ago. It now sits in Rules Committee. One man is stopping it, just as one man stopped it in The House of Republicans. Committee Chairmen hold all the power. Senator Jake Corman and President Pro Tempore Senator Scarnati are in sole control of my fate. Senator Corman assures me he is groovy, man. I received a tweet from him telling me they are going over the wording. He wants to read it really close to make sure it’s okay. How long does it take to read a bill? I read the bill the night it passed the House, March 16th.
The Senate is “concerned” that changing the word Cannabis to Marijuana will effect the implementation of the bill. You don’t have to tell me words mean things. Words mean MANY things. You can always argue about semantics. Is Marijuana different from Cannabis? No. Are licensed and registered the same? Yes. Yes they are. I checked the Thesaurus. It took thirty seconds to get my book off my bookshelf and look it up. Done.
If the Senate makes any changes, one single word, it will go back to the House where it will die. It must be accepted as is. The new MMJ Board can improve things if they need to. (Sure, they need to!) Sending it back to the House is the kiss of death!! Soon it will be summer, elections, and then session is over. It’s a lame duck and medical marijuana will die again. They will have to re-re-introduce yet another bill in January 2017. I am so tired of the lies. Next week, next month, next, next, next.
SB 3 won’t be heard until mid-April. I seem to remember them saying that last year, or was it the year before? Whenever it gets close, they push it off. “Oops, we aren’t in session now. Spring Break dude!”
There is no spring break from Epilepsy or AIDS or PTSD or MS or Cancer!
You lied to me, Pennsylvania Senate. You told me you were all in. The General Assembly does not represent me or the people of Pennsylvania. We are still dying to stay, even after the House passed medical marijuana. It might not be the Senate’s priority, but it is mine.
I won’t stop until we get medical marijuana or I die. I say that with all the gravity in the universe. Death is my constant companion. He lies in wait for me to have a deadly seizure. It’s the cold, hard truth of epilepsy. At any time I could expire from SUDEP: Sudden Unexplained Death in Epilepsy. Suddenly, for no reason at all…
I want to live!! All the Senate needs to do is concur.
Sign, or Die!
B. Franklin, The Pennsylvania gazette, May 9, 1754