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Politics & Government

PA Senate Poised To Pass Medical Marijuana Legislation

A proposal to legalize certain kinds of medical marijuana will go to the full Senate for consideration Wednesday.

Republican Senate Majority Leader Dominic Pileggi said he expects the measure to pass after it received overwhelming and bipartisan approval from the Senate Appropriations Committee Tuesday afternoon.

The panel's lengthy debate revealed concerns that there hasn’t been sufficient medical research on marijuana. But supporters said their sympathies are with parents of children afflicted with seizures who are desperate for a better treatment.

The bill has narrowed considerably with an amendment approved in committee. The changes would allow medical marijuana in the form of oil and liquid extracts, pills and edible products. It could not be smoked or vaporized. The treatment would be authorized, not prescribed.

Supporters said the House could consider the bill before recessing for the year. At least one representative within the House GOP leadership backs the proposal.

But House Republican spokesman Steve Miskin suggested medical cannabis is unlikely to be fast-tracked.

“There’s going to be at least one hearing,” Miskin said. “Members of the House have questions, too.”