Medicinal Marijuana Legalization in PA at Standstill
As Ohio prepares to ask voters if marijuana should be legal, in Pennsylvania, legalization efforts are at a standstill.
Last September, the PA Senate passed Senate Bill 1182, which will allow the medicinal use of marijuana. It’s a move that PA Senator Sean Wiley supports.
"I think it's critical that we move forward with the legislation on the medicinal use of cannabis,” said Wiley. "What we've been seeing in the past couple of years, is once we've been able to deliver the message of what it is, and more importantly what it is not, I think it's garnished much more support."
For the past 11 months, the bill has sat in the hands of the PA House of Representatives.
According to Rep. Ryan Bizzarro, the current budget impasse is causing a major delay on any legalization movement.
“With medical marijuana, right now, we're in limbo on the topic," said Rep. Bizzarro. "Although this is an important issue and there are many important issues out there in PA right now, we're really focused on getting that budget and getting it where it needs to be."
While both Wiley and Bizzarro support medicinal use of marijuana, they don’t approve the legalization of recreational use.
"I think that the recreational use of marijuana, I don't believe that the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania is ready for that at this point,” said Wiley. “The conversation surrounding medical cannabis is for the health of those of whom we serve."
“I don't want to put the cart before the horse,” said Bizzarro. “We really need to focus on getting the marijuana use for medical purposes down. We need to get that passed, and hopefully we'll have a path moving forward to see what we're going to do with marijuana in the future here in PA."