Despite medical marijuana being legal in Pennsylvania for a couple of years now, talks about legalizing recreational marijuana still lead to nowhere. Initiatives have been set aside and people argue that there are better things to focus on.
But with so many in favor of fully legalizing it, it might stand a chance. Let’s take a look at the situation in the state.
It’s such a sensitive topic and the state’s lawmakers are divided. Some are open to the legalization while some are still doubtful the state can even handle such legalization.
For one, Gov. Thomas Wolf expressed that he thinks the state is not ready for the legalization. Even if he legalized medical marijuana back in 2016, recreational marijuana is a whole other story.
Last February, Lt. Gov. John Fetterman started his initiative of tours around the state, listening to the voices of residents. During this tour, he would hear out what these residents have to say about fully legalizing marijuana in the state.
With over 67 counties, the lawmakers vowed to visit each one of them. For the counties he’s visited, hundreds of residents who support the legalization show up and make their stand.
Even with this initiative, some Republican state representatives didn’t go to Lt. Gov. Fetterman’s in Franklin County. This was a solid stand that they were against its legalization and the tours being done.
Each of these lawmakers’ stands don’t necessarily affect the public opinion but it definitely affects the possibility of PA legalizing marijuana. For now, everybody’s just waiting on the final verdict.
Where Supporters Come From
For those who are for the legalization, they usually have their own success story or have at least heard one from patients. These success stories affect their opinion about the whole legalization and it’s definitely a wave taking over everybody.
One patient who’s now a director of Community Outreach has her own success story. Mary Werdebaugh used to suffer inflammatory bowel disease back in 2006. It was only when she switched to medical marijuana that she felt relief. After six months of usage, she was eventually cured and off on all the previous medications she was given.
Werdebaugh says that legalizing marijuana could lower the costs, which is greatly beneficial for payments. There’s no denying that while it’s effective for patients, it’s also quite expensive because of state regulations.
It’s not just Werdebaugh who feels that way but a lot of other people, too. The state currently only approved 21 conditions qualified for its medical marijuana program. This means that for those who don’t have any of the conditions, they’re not allowed to purchase marijuana at all.
Legalizing marijuana could also make it more accessible to people who can’t get their own medical marijuana cards. With it being legalized, they can freely purchase it to treat their pain.
Indeed, there are two sides to a coin. While supporters are celebrating the legalization of medical marijuana, the opposition are working harder to deter the full legalization of marijuana in PA.
Michael Geer, president of Pennsylvania Family Institute is definitely strong on his stand to find ways to be ahead of the game. Even if the chances are slim today, there could still be a possibility that it might just slip.
Geer has been strong on his efforts to gather people and convince them not to be too complacent. He states that with so many rising organizations that are pro-marijuana, they need to take their stands or it might just be game over.
As of the moment, the legalization is still very bleak but opponents are already too wary. In a blink of an eye, it could all change.
Medical Marijuana Program
While this program isn’t necessarily negatively affected by the non-legalization of recreational cannabis, more and more patients registered to the program.
Only 21 medical conditions are approved, including chronic pain and autism, but a lot of patients have sent their applications. The number is expected to increase over the years, if lawmakers plan to add more conditions.
According to the recent update last February 2019, about 116,000 patients have already registered to the program. 86,000 of those have their own cards that lets them purchase marijuana from any dispensary across the state.
The number of 420 doctors in Pennsylvania have also been constantly increasing. About 1,000 doctors all over the state have applied and been approved to become the ones who can certify patients.
The program has also generated over $2 million in Taxes from $132 million worth of gross sales. That number was from 600,000 marijuana transactions alone, which is quite big.
It’s still unclear on whether marijuana will be fully legalized in PA. What’s clear now is that the state lawmakers are divided and people are strong with their stands. It’s just a matter of time when these lawmakers make a vote and decide for the future of marijuana in the state.…