Governor’s race could decide future of medical marijuana in Pa. – The Daily Pennsylvanian

While the decriminalization of marijuana takes effect in Philadelphia on Oct. 20 , the issue of medical marijuana in Pennsylvania has been making its way to the forefront of the gubernatorial election.

Remarks in Pennsylvania’s last gubernatorial debate indicate that the outcome of the governor’s race could decide whether medical marijuana becomes legal in the state in the near future.

“I do not support the legalization of marijuana for recreational purposes,” Republican Governor Tom Corbett said in the Oct. 8 debate , largely avoiding the issue of medical marijuana. “It is a gateway drug that creates all of the drug problems that we are seeing in Pennsylvania and the United States.”

“We need to legalize medical marijuana immediately,” Democratic candidate Tom Wolf responded. However, he stopped short of supporting completely legalizing marijuana. “I think we ought to see what happens in places like Colorado and Washington before we decide to go any further with the legalization of recreational marijuana, however.”

Medical marijuana was debated on Oct. 8 — the first time the issue was ever raised in a Pennsylvania gubernatorial debate — in response to the Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Act, which passed the state Senate 43-7 on Sept. 24 . The bill would legalize medical marijuana in the form of oils, edibles and ointments , but would not legalize smoking marijuana for medical purposes .

“Medical cannabis is absolutely crucial to a countless number of people in Pennsylvania — veterans that have PTSD, kids that have seizure disorders, cancer patients, HIV/AIDS patients,” said Steven Hoenstine <span pointsize="9" …read more