Medical Marijuana Hearing in Harrisburg

By PW Staff
Add Comment Add Comment | Comments: 18 | Posted Dec. 1, 2009

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Hot off the press release:

Pennsylvanians for Medical Marijuana

WHO: Pennsylvania House Health and Human Services committee

WHAT: Public Hearings on HB 1393, medical marijuana in PA

WHEN: December 2, 2009 Room 140 at 11AM, Main Capitol in Harrisburg

A Press Conference with Rep. Cohen and PA4MMJ patients will take place at 10:00AM at the East Rotunda
Landmark Medical Marijuana Hearings Tomorrow in Harrisburg
December 1, 2009

Philadelphia- Advocates and patients with the group Pennsylvanians for Medical Marijuana (PA4MMJ) will testify tomorrow before the PA House of Representatives Health and Human Services Committee during hearings on HB 1393, The Compassionate Use Medical Marijuana Act.

These will be the first public hearings on medical cannabis in the history of the Commonwealth.

On April 29, 2009 Rep. Mark B. Cohen introduced the bill to legalize medical marijuana with PA4MMJ. HB1393 would allow registered patients to grow six plants or purchase cannabis through Compassion Centers. A provision in the bill allows these medical cannabis sales to be taxed.

At a press conference at the bill’s introduction Cohen said, "It's time to create a new, honest image for marijuana. One as a form of treatment that when prescribed by responsible doctors could help thousands of patients across this commonwealth."

Three newspaper Editorial Boards endorsed the bill immediately after it was introduced: The Philadelphia Inquirer, The Pocono Record and the Daily Review of Towanda.

Testifying in favor of the bill: Chris Goldstein and Derek Rosenzweig of PA4MMJ; Ed Pane of Serento Gardens Treatment Center; Bradley Walter who lives with HIV; Andrew Hoover of the ACLU-PA, Criminal Defense Attorney Patrick Nightengale; MS patient John Wilson of New Jersey; Brian Gralnick of JSPAN; Bob Ceppecio of The Marijuana Policy Project along with other local patients and professionals. Signed written testimony from 26 PA residents will be presented by PA4MMJ along with 19 written submissions sent anonymously. Expert written submissions and comments came from the AIDS Law Project of Pennsylvania, the National Lawyers Guild Philadelphia Chapter, The Coalition for Medical Marijuana New Jersey and the National Organization for the reform of Marijuana Laws Deputy Director Paul Armentano.

Several groups will testify in opposition to medical cannabis including the PA Elks Association.

The December 2nd hearings are informational and will not see a vote. The twenty-six-member committee may ask questions of the presenters and PA4MMJ is expecting a lively and educational discussion. Please visit

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Comments 1 - 18 of 18
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1. Anonymous said... on Dec 1, 2009 at 10:24PM

“It is about time the public starts to wake up about Marijuana. The greatest danger marijuana users face are the absurdly surreal legal penalties. If people want an alternative to the high costs of big pharma with their long lists of side effects, (many of which list suicidal thoughts or death in their disclaimer) then more power to the public. Healthcare in the U.S. is getting way out of hand and there are also some very questionable ties between doctors and drug companies concerning a conflict of interest for the patients.

I would even take this bill one step further and expand it for recreational use. It is a far, far safer alternative to alcohol which kills 1 in 25 Worldwide!
Many adults of all walks of life and careers use it safely in their own homes. With dangerous criminals being released daily to make way for mandatory minimums associated with drug convictions and talks of 20 billion dollar prisons needing to be built it is time to ask if the money could be better spent.”

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2. Anonymous said... on Dec 1, 2009 at 10:40PM

“Cont. We could even be pro-active and build cultural and entertainment centers to provide teenagers with something more productive to do. We could re-build our infrastructure or use the money to treat alcoholics and drug addicts. Whatever we do, the current system is not working and putting dads in prison for marijuana just helps to create a new generation of criminals that lacked male role models in their lives.

Many states spend more on inmates than teachers! Sure, the zero tolerance politicians look like they are tough on crime and cleaning society up, a mirage and unsustainable one at that. Why lock up marijuana users that pose no danger to society?

But what about the kids? Well, why don't you monitor what your kids listen too, or what movies they watch? You could even give them urine tests. I am sure you all remember how easy it was to buy in high school vs. the (legal) alcohol. Black markets ensure easier access points to adolescents than regulated sales.”

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3. Anonymous said... on Dec 1, 2009 at 11:07PM


In PA 30 grams or less of marijuana possession could result in 30 days in prison. Possession of a Pipe could result in 1 year in prison. In some cases they take your entire house and financially break you for a large portion of your life. Possession could ruin your eligibility for student loans or close many career opportunities. Nevermind the fact that most marijuana users are normal people with careers or well on their way. Isn't society healthier if more people are educated and have good jobs?

Please for one moment, imagine of possession of a bottle of wine or a corkscrew could land you in prison, away from your children and sleeping next to psychopaths. It is unreal and it is costing us an average of 33,000 dollars an inmate per year. That's almost the tuition for ivy league colleges.
We can do better. Also remember that one in three has used marijuana. Yes, thats someone in YOUR FAMILY. Should they go to prison?”

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4. RFWoodstock said... on Dec 2, 2009 at 12:15PM

“Valid medicinal value, it’s a victimless crime, the War on Drugs WAY too costly, too many arrests for simple possession, tax it and use the money to pay for health insurance and to reduce the deficit…Need I say more?

Woodstock Universe supports legalization of Marijuana.

We will giveaway a Woodstock Universe Prize Package to the best member blog on “Why we should legalize marijuana?”

Prize package includes Woodstock Universe T-shirt and magnet, WDST decal, Radio Woodstock Live in Woodstock CD and Woodstock 3 days of peace and music Director’s Cut DVD.

Join Woodstock Universe to blog or just vote in our poll.

Add your vote in our poll about legalization at: woodstockuniverseDOTcom

New poll started 11/25…currently 95%...for 5% against.

Peace, love, music, one world,

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5. Paul Csuhta said... on Dec 2, 2009 at 02:00PM

“We the people of the United States can take our hats off to our brothers in Pennsylvania. The 19th century mentality of schedule 1 (Cannabis) is history. It has a purpose, and its purpose is to take the burden of purchasing costly medications away from the patient and to utilize our natural resources so that the average American can have much more control over his or her health. The patient will no longer be burdened by having to choose buying food purchasing their pain medications.. Good Job Pennsylvania legislators!”

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6. Paul D. Csuhta said... on Dec 2, 2009 at 02:08PM

“We the people of the United States can take our hats off to our brothers in Pennsylvania. The 19th century mentality of schedule 1 (Cannabis) is history. It has a purpose, and its purpose is to take the burden of purchasing costly medications away from the patient and to utilize our natural resources so that the average American can have much more control over his or her health. The patient will no longer be burdened by having to choose buying food or purchasing their pain medications.. Good Job Pennsylvania legislators!”

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7. Robin Rabiyah said... on Dec 2, 2009 at 02:46PM

“I want to thank all of the forward thinking people who are in favor of legalizing marijuana and making medical marijuana available to all who need it. All of those man hours used to attempt to stop people in the USA from having access to alco-
holic beverages, should stand as an example today. Some of the benifits to lega- lizing marijuana will be an increased cash flow into the city, state, and federal governments cash accounts. Another benifit would be making it more readily available to people who have an adverse reaction to many presciption drugs. I am in favor of the legalization of marijuana in the USA, and hope it happens soon.”

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8. Cartoon Pig Dog said... on Dec 2, 2009 at 10:21PM

“The hearing today was, at best, a disappointment. Of the 29 committee members only about a dozen showed up, among those was Representative Baker, who has now made my hit list of politicians to boycot in upcoming elections . He was very adamant is his opposition to the bill, yet he did not have a single fact with which to support his standing on the issue, when I approached him to ask if he would consider looking at updated research on the medicinal uses of marijuana he gave me a flat no, so I asked if he was just completely closeminded on the subject, his answer: "No, I'm not closeminded, I just said I am against it, and I am not interested in seeing or hearing anything else on the matter".
Maybe it's just me, but the second half of that statement seems to be a direct contradiction of the first half, isn't being closeminded defined by having your own opinion and being closed to hearing anything to the contrary?”

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9. MyMediMar said... on Dec 2, 2009 at 10:26PM

“I attended today's meeting, and was very impressed with some of the participants. My inclination is towards approval of 1393, and perhaps because of that I felt that the testimonies from its supporters were much stronger than 1393's detractors.

The major points of the pro side were:

• The bill is intended to service the sick and not recreational users
• Passage of the bill will not endanger children
• Medical Marijuana patients do not need to "smoke" medication. There are various methods of consumption
• Jail is not medicine
• Marijuana is not a gateway drug - alcohol and tobacco are greater "gateways"
• No one has ever over-dosed on Marijuana, but many have overdosed on the medications marijuana would replace
• Many medical associations have already approved or have radically changed their position of classifying marijuana as a type 1 narcotic
• President Obama has instructed federal prosecutors to respect state jurisdictions regarding medical marijuana
• The AMA wil”

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10. MyMediMar said... on Dec 2, 2009 at 10:31PM

“My total comment got cutoff...
You can find the full text here -->”

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11. MyMediMar said... on Dec 2, 2009 at 10:33PM


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12. PaulD Csuhta said... on Dec 3, 2009 at 09:33AM

“Attention to all the drug reps in this country. You can keep your free lunches, tickets to sporting events, free samples, and your influence over the medical industry. We the people of the United States are tired of these tactics and are taking a stand, drawing a line in the sand, refusing to submit to your briberus methods that have been held over our heads for decades. Cannabis is a safe, cost effective way to treat the patient. We are sorry that you can not patent mother nature, step aside Cannabis is here to stay!”

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13. Anonymous said... on Dec 3, 2009 at 05:00PM

“I am the son of a man who was 100% dependent on prescription medications for chronic pain. His pain meds gave him depression, so he took depression meds. His depression meds made him schizophrenic, so he took meds for that as well. All his meds together wouldn't let him fall asleep at night, so he took sleeping pills. ONE plant could have replaced that all, and I would still have a Dad today. Politicians need to start thinking with their heads, not their bank accounts.”

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14. Cartoon Pig Dog said... on Dec 6, 2009 at 11:34AM

“PaulD Csuhta, I agree with you, except for your last sentence "We are sorry that you can not patent mother nature", There have been over 700 patents granted for the medical use of marijuana, most notably was patent number 6630507 (Cannabinoids as antioxidants and Neuroprotectants), this patent was assigned to The United States of America as represented by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. There are over 1800 patents on marijuana including its medical and industrial uses, the only thing keeping these patents from being acted on (marketed), is the federal laws making it illegal for all uses, including the production of paper, ropes, linen, oils and hundreds of other products. Some of these patents date back to the early 1940s. Go to the US Patent office's site at uspto. gov and search the keywords marijuana or cannabis and see some of the extensive research done over that resulted in these patents being granted, you'll be surprised by the number of patents you find.”

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15. Anonymous said... on Dec 12, 2009 at 12:24PM

“Whatever we do. We have to do something. Our laws and procedures result in a ton of money wasted. We had to close libraries and cut down hours to save money while we spend 3 million annually on processing people arrested for marijuana possession. The police really bother with hauling people in for marijuana possession when they could be cutting down on violent crime.

"Minor marijuana possession arrests in Philadelphia are handled with mandatory custody; this is a different process than every other county in Pennsylvania costing the city millions of dollars each year."......

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16. Anonymous said... on Dec 12, 2009 at 12:26PM

“Data indicates that 4,716 adults were arrested in 2008 on the singular criminal misdemeanor charge of marijuana possession - less than 30 grams. In Philadelphia such arrests are required to be custodial. For even a single cannabis joint this means an offender must be handcuffed, transported to a holding cell, photographed and perhaps make bail before release. In every other county in Pennsylvania there is no mandate for the custodial arrest of citizens found with small amounts of marijuana. Instead, summary violations are issued along with a date to appear in court.

Philadelphia could save more than $3,000,000 annually by not taking pot smokers in for mugshots and conforming to the rest of the counties’ guidelines on the custodial portion of the misdemeanor charge”

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17. ernest hoover said... on Dec 18, 2009 at 10:33PM

“I suffer from chronic pain. I am a recovering alcoholic for 22 years and drank this alcohol for pain relief.Alcohol is a terrible highly dangerous addictive drug stronger than heroin.I would like to see marijuana legalised so that I can use it legally to kill chronic pain,And mental houth issues.Marijuana is a much safer way of treatment and is non addictive.I smoke at night to relieve my pain and relax me because of a sleep disorder that was caused from working 30 years on call seven days a week.Alcohol destroys families and steals happiness.I would rather rent my homes to marijuana users over alcohol users.Alcohol users will destroy a apartment ,marijuana users generally keep a neat home because it is not as powerful as alcoholic beverages. My family does not smoke but they see me and how it relaxes me.I take perscriptions that are dangerous and are addictive with terrible side effects.Please legalise marijuana soon.Let the prisoners out so we can put real criminals were they belong”

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18. Anonymous said... on Nov 22, 2010 at 08:10PM

“im 20 years old and i suffer from chronic pain and im a recovering anorexic the pain meds can go either way of helping me but i hate taking the meds because of all the major side effects people need to get a grip and legalize medical marijuana and do us in pain a huge favor because at least with the marijuana i know that i can have hope of getting through my sickness the pain meds just make me want to eat less and die more LEGALIZE MEDICAL!!!!!!!!!!”


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