Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Wolf signs medical marijuana into law

John Sharkey
Staff Writer

On Saturday, April 17, Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf signed into law the legal sale and use of marijuana and THC products for medical use, further advancing the fight for marijuana legalization in the United States.
  The overwhelming majority has spoken, with the State House of Representatives of PA voting 149-43 on the bill. Wolf finished the process with a signature that turned the bill into state law.
  Still, the controversy continues with much speculation about what is legal, in terms of the federal versus state governments, and the effectiveness that marijuana and THC based drugs have for medicinal purposes.
  To this day, marijuana is still listed by the US Government as a schedule one drug under the Controlled Substances Act of 1970. In other words, it has no medicinal value in any way, and is highly likely to be addictive or abused. This classification, whether right or wrong, is still contradictory when juxtaposing it to legalization efforts. All that remains is who is on the right side of issue.
  Either the US government needs to readjust the classification of marijuana, or there must be a recall, of sorts, of all laws pertaining to marijuana legalization, either medically or recreationally. As it stands, the federal government can still prosecute users of marijuana in certain situations because of this law, and PA is just another place where legal opposition can come to the courts.
  One of the main points brought up by the senate in favor of the bill is the usefulness of marijuana in combatting seizures in children. Hitting the emotional side of the voters, this helped bring the vote to an overwhelming victory...for the children.
  What is not being talked about is the tax dollars that will be brought in through the sale of medical marijuana, with the five percent tax on all sales. The state of PA will gain some extra money.
  Off the subject of the monetary value of pot, the bill did specify the forms of marijuana to be prescribed to medical patients. The list includes forms of liquids, pills, topical form (like a gel), but not a smokable form.
  Finally, Governor Wolf made some final remarks on the issue. He noted that the main reason for the passing of the bill is to help medical patients who truly need marijuana to live better lives. The legal action does not make recreational marijuana use legal and does not provide any leeway for those caught illegally with marijuana.
  With now 24 states having legalized a comprehensive medical marijuana plan, the federal government is being pressured more and more to change the classification of marijuana. Until this happens, many will still suffer from chronic seizures and other illnesses without proper treatment options.

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