Medical marijuana was legalized today, Sunday, April 17, 2016, in the Pennsylvania. The bill authorizing its medicinal use was signed into law by Gov. Tom Wolf. The bill was passed on April 13 in the state legislature with a vote of 149-46. This makes the commonwealth the 24th state in the United States to permit its use for medicinal purposes. The District of Columbia also permits such legal use of cannabis.
It was reported that medical treatment with the use of cannabis will be offered for conditions, such as autism, cancer, post traumatic stress disorder and various neurological disorders were among the 17 recognized ailments. Although cannabinoid-derivative use may come as a relief for many, the process may take well over a year to establish protocols for dispensing the legalized remedy.
Earlier this year, New York also enacted legislation permitting the legal use of medical marijuana. Most recent figures from the Empire State show that over 500 doctors are registered, with over 2,500 individuals certified for treatment.
It must be remembered that use of medical marijuana is still not authorized by federal law. Its use is strictly a state issue. The federal government is not permitted to require states to enact penalties for a state matter, even if there are federal penalties, such as if the offense took place on federal property. The reverse of this is also true. A common example might be where the federal government recognizes same-sex marriages arising in states where it is legal but issues no affirmative penalties from states where it is not.
By Bob Reinhard
Edited by Jeanette Smith
Penn Live: It’s Official: Medical Marijuana now legal in Pennsylvania
New York State Department of Health: New York State Medical Marijuana Program
Photo Courtesy of Mark’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License