“I honestly think this would be a great thing for the community,” James Russo said.
Pennsylvania Governor Tom wolf agrees with medical marijuana supporters like James Russo.
Governor Wolf signed a bill into law on Sunday afternoon making Pennsylvania the 24th state in the country to legalize medical marijuana.
While advocates cheered as the bill was signed, not everyone agrees.
“There’s just too many drugs, particularly in Bradford county and everywhere. And there’s too much dependence on drugs,” Wendy Mckeithan said.
Representative and Pennsylvania Health Chairman, Matt Baker, says the FDA considers marijuana an illegal drug classified in the same category as heroin, LSD, ecstasy and bath salts.
“Other than anecdotal evidence that doesn’t has any pharmacology connection, the vast majority of the scientific and medical community strongly opposes marijuana being used,” Representative Baker said.
Baker says the law should not have passed because not only can marijuana be abused and used as a gateway drug, but it brings crime wherever it goes; especially when dispensaries are located too close to schools, churches and parks where children play.
While Baker says he sympathizes with parents of children with serious medical conditions, he argues lawmakers are ignoring medical professionals who advise against the use.
“The America Epilepsy Society has written to me twice. They wrote to me in 2014 and they wrote to me again last year strongly opposing the legalization of marijuana,” Baker said.
Governor Wolf disagrees with Representative Baker. He says the new law is aimed at alleviating pain and improving quality of life for people suffering from 17 serious conditions:
• Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis
• Crohn’s Disease
• Damage to the nervous tissue of the spinal cord with objective neurological indication of intractable spasticity
• HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus) / AIDS (Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome)
• Huntington’s Disease
• Inflammatory Bowel Syndrome
• Intractable Seizures
• Multiple Sclerosis
• Parkinson’s Disease
• Post-traumatic Stress Disorder
• Severe chronic or intractable pain of neuropathic origin or severe chronic or intractable pain in which conventional therapeutic intervention and opiate therapy is contraindicated or ineffective
• Sickle Cell Anemia