Paul Gordon Collier- The Pennsylvania Senate has gone through its seeming annual ritual of passing a medical marijuana bill for the third year in a row. The bill failed to pass the State House the last two years. State Senator Mike Folmer (R) of Lebanon County believes this is the year it will finally pass. The Senate will vote on the bill now that it has passed the State Senate Government Committee, chaired by Senator Folmer.
The Senator said this about his thoughts on the the chances of the bill passing, “I really do (think that). I know I’m being optimistic. I get that. But I really do, because I believe there are good people over there.”
Unlike the former Governor, Tom Corbett, the current Governor, Tom Wolf, has vowed to pass the bill should it pass both the Senate and the House.
The newly elected House Majority leader, Dave Reed (R) has vowed that he will make every effort to make sure the bill passes the House this time.
“We’ve got too many kids and too many citizens in general that can potentially benefit from the use of medical marijuana,” Reed said. “We just need to make sure it’s regulated in the most appropriate fashion possible and that we’re not creating a lot of unintended consequences.”
Pro-Medical Marijuana activists, however, claim the bill that passed the Senate Committee is not actually a medical marijuana bill but a ‘limited cannabis product’ bill. They argue that the current language has so watered down the original intent of the initial bill proposal that if it does pass it will have little impact on most Pennsylvanians.
Folmer has stated he intends on broadening the language before it finally passed the Senate.