HARRISBURG, January 8, 2014 – State Sen. Daylin Leach (D-Montgomery/Delaware), sponsor of two medical marijuana bills in the Senate – S.B. 770 and S.B. 1182 – has responded to Gov. Corbett’s recent statement that he would welcome direction on medical marijuana by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

Noting that it could be years before the FDA makes a decision and that children are suffering now, Leach said the governor’s remarks simply create a diversion from the real issue: ensuring sick Pennsylvanians have access to the medicine they need and deserve.

“By outsourcing the treatment of sick children to the FDA, he’s ignoring the fierce urgency of now to get these kids the medicine they need,” Leach said. “Meanwhile, as Pennsylvania ignores this critical problem, 21 other states have already taken decisive action to care for their own sick children.”

As he urged the governor to reconsider his position, Leach pointed to a 2004 Congressional testimony of the FDA Director of Drug Evaluation discussing marijuana and the role of the FDA, a recent loosening of marijuana laws by Gov. Cuomo in New York, and a statement made by the U.S. Department of Justice noting that they would not prosecute marijuana crimes in states its use has been legalized.

“In addition to being well-versed in the law, Gov. Corbett is also a governor who prides himself on strongly supporting states’ rights, reflected in his policies on health care and environmental regulation,” Leach said. “Why, now, is he deferring to the federal government and resisting action? Simply because he wishes to appear compassionate by making empty statements rather than actually being compassionate.”

Leach has introduced S.B. 770, to legalize medical marijuana, each year since 2009, and introduced the first bipartisan medical cannabis bill, S.B. 1182. Both bills currently await consideration by Senate committees.

In 2013, Dr. Sanjay Gupta – who was previously opposed to medical marijuana – released a documentary called “Weed”. During the film, he spoke to leaders in the medical community, marijuana experts, growers and patients. He called what he found “stunning”, and reversed his stance on legalizing marijuana for medical use. The article about Dr. Gupta’s findings has been provided for reference below.

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES:

“Why I Changed My Mind on Weed” by Dr. Sanjay Gupta

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