HARRISBURG, April 28, 2014 – Sen. Daylin Leach (D-Montgomery/Delaware) today held a press conference with Pennsylvanians who would be directly and negatively impacted by a veto of S.B. 1182, to announce their plans to assemble in the Governor’s Reception Room until he agrees to meet with them.
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“We want Governor Corbett to provide a confirmed date and time by May 2nd of when he will meet with me, Sen. Folmer, and at least six parents of children who can benefit from this medicine. We demand, and do not think it is at all unreasonable to hold a group meeting before the end of May,” Leach said. “If not, at a time of our choosing, families from across the state will gather in the Governor’s Reception Room until he agrees to meet. These families are desperate and tired of waiting.”
S.B. 1182, The Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Act, sponsored by Leach and Sen. Mike Folmer (R-48), would legalize the use of medical marijuana by patients as recommended by attending physicians. S.B. 1182 marks the first time in Senate history that a medical cannabis bill has been introduced with bipartisan support. This bill has 13 co-sponsors.
A Quinnipiac Poll last month found 85 percent of Pennsylvanians favor legalization. However, Governor Corbett has recently said that he will veto the bill if it gets to his desk. Even if his grandson could benefit from medical cannabis, Corbett says he would be “too emotional” to decide if cannabis is an option despite successes in other states.
Christine Brann, of Derry Township and mother of Garrett Brann, supports the legislation and the proposed sit-in if a meeting is not granted.
“We are not ‘too emotional’ to make a decision. We are however frustrated that politicians are preventing our trusted doctors from providing what may be our last and best medical option,” said Brann. “We are clear-headed in our certainty that anything derived from this plant is most likely safer than our remaining toxic options. We have never protested a day in our lives and we are outraged that the governor is letting his ideology determine our fate.”
Angela and Matt Sharrer, the parents of Annie Sharrer that are advocating for this legislation, met with Pennsylvania’s Physician General, Dr. Carrie DeLone in February.
“While checking on their progress of ‘meeting families and gathering information,’ as we were told, we sent Dr. DeLone a video of Annie having a seizure that clearly showed her lips turning blue from lack of oxygen. We received no response to that email,” Angela Sharrer stated.
Leach noted that Governor Corbett has met with one family privately, but their open letter to the Governor in Pennlive.com this past Friday indicates that even they are not satisfied with his approach.
Leach added: “Governor Corbett has done nothing on this issue while Pennsylvania families suffer. Since the Senate Law and Justice Committee’s hearing on January 28th, the families of 12 children have calculated that their children have suffered more than 108,000 seizures, spent 63 days in the hospital, used last resort, rescue medications 195 times, missed 184 days of school, and were rushed to the emergency room 20 times. The administration’s inaction is callous and inexcusable. We will come to him if he continues to ignore their immeasurable suffering.”
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