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Politics & Government

State Senators Hear Testimony on Proposal to Legalize Medical Marijuana Derivative

State senators have heard testimony on a proposal to legalize and regulate a kind of medical marijuana derivative.

Proponents say the drug, extracted as an oil, can treat severe epilepsy, autoimmune diseases and diabetes.

The state’s nurses association supports the measure, while the dominant doctors association is urging further testing and the Pennsylvania State Elks Association’s drug awareness committee is against legalizing the treatment.

A vote hasn’t been scheduled on the bill, but Republican Sen. Chuck McIlhinney of Bucks County says he may set up a vote to advance the measure to the full Senate.

"I’ll look over the testimony, talk to members of the Senate," he said. "It’s possible we have further hearings; it’s possible we schedule the bill for a vote."

Democratic Sen. Daylin Leach of Montgomery County, one of the bill’s authors, says the votes are in both chambers to pass the bill, but it won’t be advanced until Governor Corbett drops his opposition.

In the U.S., marijuana research is hard to come by due to its federal legal classification as dangerous and prone to abuse.

One researcher testified that he’s found the drug to be highly effective in research done in Israel, Canada and China.