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Today: Pennsylvania Medical Marijuana Patients, Families To Make Plea To Lawmakers


pennsylvania marijuana legislatureAs the Pennsylvania House of Representatives prepares to vote on amendments to SB 3, the Compassionate Use Act, patients and families will gather at the state capitol building Monday to plead with lawmakers to pass an effective version of the medical marijuana legislation before the end of the session.

Campaign for Compassion will hold a news conference at 12 p.m. in the Main Capitol Rotunda, where patients will be sitting in a makeshift doctors-office-style “waiting room.” One of the speakers at the event will be Becky Witwer of Berks County, whose 1-year-old daughter, Grace, died November 11 of sudden unexplained death in epilepsy (SUDEP).

“I learned that medical cannabis was helping many children who suffer from Dravet Syndrome,” Witwer said. “We were waiting for the law to pass so Grace could try it, but she never got the chance. Please don’t make patients wait any longer — many can’t.”

The Senate approved SB 3 by a vote of 40-7 in May, and Gov. Tom Wolf has said he would sign a medical marijuana bill into law.

WHAT: News conference to call on lawmakers to pass an effective version of SB 3 before the end of the session

WHEN: TODAY, Monday, November 23, 12 p.m. ET

WHERE: Main Rotunda of the Pennsylvania State Capitol Building, Harrisburg

WHO: Becky Witwer, Berks County woman whose 1-year-old daughter, Grace, died November 11 of sudden unexplained death in epilepsy (SUDEP)

Brandon Genescritti, Fulton County man suffering from kidney failure

Susan Love, Lancaster County woman whose daughter, Sarah, 20, suffers from autism and Crohn’s disease

Randal Robertson, Cumberland County man suffering from bile duct cancer

Pennsylvania patients, families, and advocates

# # #

Campaign for Compassion is a group of seriously ill patients and their loved ones, medical practitioners, and advocates that works to educate the public about the benefits of medical cannabis and to enact a comprehensive medical cannabis law in Pennsylvania. For more information, visit http://www.campaign4compassion.com/


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Johnny Green


  1. It’s high time (pun intended) for PA lawmakers to first present this to the people because If PA is talking it’s not to the public or families, it never covered by the media, there is nothing on the ballots and who ever is having this discussion it’s not public! Ohio failed miserably and I guess PA only have political balls when it comes to taking away benefits from working families and poor people. So they can care less about the sick. And too corrupt to end Prohibition.. They love those prisons far more than freedom of one’s personal human rights!

  2. saynotohypocrisy on

    40+ posts from bob tox in a row (stopped counting at that point).
    TWB is going to need an ignore this poster option if this keeps up.

  3. From the MPP:

    Key Elements of Pennsylvania Medical Cannabis Bill

    Patients must be allowed to use the treatment that works best for them,
    including whole plant cannabis.
    • The majority of existing research on the effectiveness of medical marijuana is
    based on whole plant cannabis.
    • Prohibition of whole plant cannabis leads to significantly higher prices and less effective
    treatments, which could force patients to seek medication on the illicit market.
    • Neither the work group recommendations nor SB 3 included a complete prohibition on whole plant cannabis. Of the 24 effective medical marijuana laws, only Minnesota has included a similar provision. That program is experiencing extremely high prices with many patients opting for the criminal market instead.
    • The legislation should either expressly allow whole plant cannabis or stay silent
    on the issue and allow the Department of Health to make a final determination.

    A 10% THC cap is arbitrary and unnecessary and will prohibit patient access
    to the most effective treatment options.
    • Marijuana strains containing 11-­-26% THC have been used in the effective
    treatment of almost every condition listed in the current draft.
    • A THC cap will force patients to spend more money and consume more medication in order to reach the THC content that will effectively treat their condition.
    • A one-­-year Canadian study released earlier this year found that a strain with
    12.5% THC effectively treated chronic pain.
    • In an Israeli study on Crohn’s disease that used 23% THC content, 45% of the patients went into full remission and the other 55% reported at least a 50% improvement in symptoms.
    • Average THC content in Washington’s medical market is 16%. In, Colorado, the
    average is 18.7%.
    • Marinol, which is 100% THC, is the only form of medical marijuana permitted
    under federal law. (It is a Schedule III prescription used for nausea and wasting.)

    For more: http://www.lucidpublicrelations.Com/wp-content/uploads/11-8-15-PA-Key-Elements-of-Medical-Cannabis-Bills.pdf

  4. The 10% THC cap is absurd. Marinol is legal and 100% synthetic THC. Arbitrary, irrational caps only further limits the choice and effectiveness of the countless strains of cannabis. Already no plant material can be sold and it cannot be smoked for any condition, or vaporized for most conditions. Studies have shown that various combinations of cannabinoids, terpenes, and other naturally occurring compounds are more effective for various conditions. It is not fully understood which are most important, or how extraction methods may alter the natural balance of various strains.

    The entire plant must be legalized for medicinal use. It has been found that cannabinoids act synergistically and are more effective together, even more effective than any additive effect. For example, this study found that THC and CBD work together in fighting brain cancer:

    “Similarly, pretreating cells with THC-P and CBD-P together for 4 hours before irradiation increased their radiosensitivity when compared with pretreating with either of the cannabinoids individually…”
    “…which showed dramatic reductions in tumor volumes when both cannabinoids were used with irradiation”
    [Scott et al. The Combination of Cannabidiol and delta9-Tetrahydrocannabinol Enhances the Anticancer Effects of Radiation in an Orthotopic Murine Glioma Model. Molecular Cancer Therapeutics. 2014.]

    Whole plant extract may be superior for epilepsy:

    “We briefly review some of the history, preclinical and clinical data, and controversies surrounding the use of medical marijuana for the treatment of epilepsy, and make a case that the desire to isolate and treat with pharmaceutical grade compounds from cannabis (specifically CBD) may be inferior to therapy with whole plant extracts.”
    [Maa E, Figi P. The case for medical marijuana in epilepsy. Epilepsia. 2014.]

    This entourage effect has been demonstrated scientifically in a number of studies. This cannot be replicated with synthetics and extractions unnecessarily complicate matters:

    “More recently, the synergistic contributions of cannabidiol to cannabis pharmacology and analgesia have been scientifically demonstrated. Other phytocannabinoids, including tetrahydrocannabivarin, cannabigerol and cannabichromene, exert additional effects of therapeutic interest.”
    [Russo EB. Taming THC: potential cannabis synergy and phytocannabinoid-terpenoid entourage effects. Br J Pharmacol. 2011. Review.]

  5. A step in the right direction, but there are arbitrary limits that serve no rational purpose other than to deny the best medicine to individual patients.

    1) No plant material can be sold and it cannot be smoked for any condition. Studies have shown that various combinations of cannabinoids, terpenes, and other naturally occurring compounds are more effective for various conditions. It is not fully understood which are most important, or how extraction methods may alter the natural balance of various strains.

    2) It can only be taken in edible forms, except for three serious conditions: cancer, seizures, or post traumatic stress disorder, which allow vaporization.

    3) It can only be prescribed for the following conditions:

    -Epilepsy and seizures.
    -Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.
    -Cachexia/wasting syndrome.
    -Parkinson’s disease.
    -Traumatic brain injury and postconcussion syndrome.
    -Multiple sclerosis.
    -Spinocerebellara Ataxia (SCA).
    -Posttraumatic stress disorder.
    -Severe fibromyalgia.
    -Chronic or intractable pain where other methods of treatment no longer have therapeutic or palliative benefit.
    -Crohn’s disease.

    No new conditions can be added until July 2017, and this would require extensive processing, review and approval by the board largely made up of law enforcement. These baby steps are unnecessary and harmful. Let doctors decide which medicines are best for their patients, and in what form…not politicians.

  6. I dont know why it’s so hard to comprehend compassion? It seems so much harder to get mmj programs on the east coast compared to Colorado and other western states. A lot of Reefer Madness still going on in many states if not the country but not from most citizens, , you guessed it- the government and the bible belt are the biggest hindrance to mmj programs. Not preachin but to the conservatives, Read the first page of your own bibles about genesis’ great promise of the seed bearing herbs to use and your God said “It Was All Good, baby!!! Hypocrisy rules in this country and it must change. We need a revelation or a revolution!!! Citezens United!!!

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