DeLissio: Medical marijuana passage would help patients

HARRISBURG, April 15 – State Rep. Pamela A. DeLissio, D-Montgomery/Phila., issued the following statement regarding her vote Wednesday in favor of legislation that would legalize medical marijuana in Pennsylvania:

“Our vote this week would allow medical cannabis to be used by patients who have had limited to no success with standard medications. Over the past year, many hearings were held to ensure that both the House Health and Judiciary committees were as well-informed as possible regarding the merits of this legislation.

“The hearings provided an opportunity to listen to poignant and powerful stories, including those from mothers of children with a form of seizures that are not sufficiently controlled with medications that are currently available, and who often experience severe side effects from these medications. Passage of this bill will provide an opportunity for many citizens to try an alternative course of treatment for chronic conditions such as seizure disorders.

“Discussion of Senate Bill 3 was the focus of one of my town halls in May 2015 and a straw vote during that meeting found that the overwhelming majority of attendees were in favor of this bill. Interestingly, it was the information presented at the meeting that helped some constituents understand the facts of the matter differently, and more than a few became supporters by the end of the presentation.”

Senate Bill 3, which was twice put through each chamber of the Pennsylvania General Assembly, is expected to be signed by Gov. Tom Wolf on Sunday.

“After much homework and review of information presented by many stakeholders, both pro and con, it was clear that the benefits of moving forward with this legislation outweighed the negative concerns. The bill will take effect in 24 months,” DeLissio said.