Marijuana

Sarah Kovash / 90.5 WESA

A new report from policy experts has a warning for states like Pennsylvania that may consider legalizing marijuana: don't rely on estimated tax revenue, because it's tricky to guess.

Alexandria Zhang, a research officer with Pew Charitable Trusts and one of authors of the report, said it's really hard to make estimates on how much money could be made through legalized marijuana in part because it's such a new thing in the United States.

Vehicle Search Prompted By Marijuana Smell Ruled Illegal

Aug 12, 2019
Kalim Bhatti / AP

An eastern Pennsylvania judge has ruled that state police troopers who said they smelled marijuana in a car weren't allowed to search it once they were shown a passenger's medical marijuana card.

A Lehigh County judge tossed out evidence cited in support of drug and firearms counts stemming from the Nov. 7 search in Allentown, The (Allentown) Morning Call reported .

WITF

The Department of Health has approved eight research universities, paired with eight medical marijuana growers, to learn more about the usefulness and drawbacks of cannabis as a treatment. Penn State College of Medicine and marijuana grower Pennsylvania Options for Wellness is one such pair, and officials for the research partnership spoke about the plan Monday on WITF Smart Talk.

Medical Marijuana Grower Cited By State Over Record-Keeping

Jul 3, 2019
Seth Weing / AP

Pennsylvania officials are accusing a medical marijuana growing company of not following regulations that require it to keep records about the plants it grows.

Steven Senne / AP

Lt. Gov. John Fetterman is bringing his statewide marijuana listening tour to Allegheny County this weekend. He’ll visit the Community Empowerment Association in Homewood and then the Penn State McKeesport campus, both on Saturday.

Eric Gay / AP

When Franklin and Marshall College first started polling Pennsylvanians about legalizing marijuana in 2006, only 22 percent of respondents said they were in favor.

Ted S. Warren / AP

Discrepancies between state and local laws in Pennsylvania have led to a battle of discretion in the way marijuana-related charges are applied. Police officers can still charge people for possession of the drug, but prosecutors are increasingly unwilling to pursue these cases. 

Wolf Takes New Step On Marijuana With Town Hall Sessions

Jan 24, 2019
Sarah Kovash / 90.5 WESA

The Wolf administration wants to open a "conversation" about legalizing marijuana in Pennsylvania and announced Thursday that the lieutenant governor will hold a series of town hall-style sessions on the subject.

Lt. Gov. John Fetterman, himself an advocate of legalizing recreational use of the drug, said he will hold a listening session in each of Pennsylvania's 67 counties in the coming months and otherwise accept comments submitted online or through other means.

Legal Marijuana Industry Had Banner Year In 2018

Dec 27, 2018
Ted S. Warren / AP

 The last year was a 12-month champagne toast for the legal marijuana industry as the global market exploded and cannabis pushed its way further into the financial and cultural mainstream.

Ted S. Warren / AP

Teenagers are using marijuana more than cigarettes, and they try it before their first tipple, according to recent studies. 

Ted S. Warren / AP

A measure that would reduce penalties for possessing small amounts of marijuana has passed out of a House committee. 

It almost certainly won’t get through the full legislature before the session ends next month—but its backers still see this as an important step forward.

Kelley McCall / AP

Pennsylvania's statewide prison system remains locked down after dozens of employees at different locations became sick over the past month. Department of Corrections officials believes the staff came into contact with a synthetic cannabinoid.

Marijuana Group Blasts Police For Chasing Suspect With Dozer

Jul 12, 2018
Ted S. Warren / AP

State police went grossly overboard in their pursuit of a marijuana suspect whose body was found under a bulldozer that authorities used to search for him in thick brush, a pot advocacy group said Thursday.

Keith Srakocic / AP

Eight of Pennsylvania’s universities have received the go-ahead to start studying medical marijuana.

Governor Tom Wolf’s administration is billing the move as the commonwealth’s “first step towards clinical research” on the drug.

The eight medical universities and colleges in question are:

Small Businesses Grapple With Maze Of Conflicting Pot Laws

May 3, 2018
Ted S. Warren / AP

A low unemployment rate and the spreading legalization of marijuana have led many businesses to rethink their drug testing policies for the first time in decades.

Court To Decide If Drug Use While Pregnant Is Child Abuse

Apr 9, 2018
Gosia Wozniacka / AP, file

Pennsylvania's highest court will determine whether a woman's use of illegal drugs while pregnant qualifies as child abuse under state law.

The Supreme Court has taken up the case of a woman who tested positive for suboxone and marijuana at the time she gave birth early last year at Williamsport Hospital.

A county judge ruled that didn't qualify as child abuse under the state's Child Protective Services Law, but the intermediate Superior Court said drug use while pregnant can make bodily injury likely for a child after birth.

Marijuana-Friendly States, Including PA, Want Meeting With Sessions

Mar 30, 2018
David Goldman / AP

Pennsylvania, California and other marijuana-friendly states are seeking a meeting with U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions in hopes of resolving the conflict between federal and state laws that has left the nation's cannabis industry in legal limbo.

Marijuana is illegal at the federal level, even as 29 states have legalized pot in some form.

State treasurers from California, Oregon, Illinois and Pennsylvania told Sessions in a letter Thursday that businesses and banks need greater clarity on how federal law enforcement will respond to the growing legalization trend.

Keith Srakocic / AP

It's been nearly two years since Pennsylvania legalized medical marijuana, and this week, a handful of dispensaries began selling it.

"Don't ask, don't tell" is how many veterans have approached health care conversations about marijuana use with the doctors they see from the Department of Veterans Affairs.

Worried that owning up to using the drug could jeopardize their VA benefits — even if they're participating in a medical marijuana program approved by their state — veterans have often kept mum. That may be changing under a new directive from the Veterans Health Administration urging vets and their physicians to open up on the subject.

Ryan Kang / AP

Stephen Arch, a 60-year-old filmmaker from Moon Township, is prescribed the drug Klonopin for his Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, which he said stems from childhood trauma.

Lars Ploughmann / flickr

 A Pennsylvania couple is suing the police and an insurance company because they say they were handcuffed for hours in a patrol car after their hibiscus plants were confused for marijuana.

Ryan Kang / AP

More than 3,800 patients have registered for Pennsylvania's medical marijuana program in its first week.

Governor Tom Wolf says more than 200 caregivers have also registered for the program. He says the demand shows the "need for this vital medication."

A 2016 state law gives people under a doctor's care access to medical marijuana if they suffer from an illness on a list of 17 qualifying conditions.

The law permits pills, oils, vapor or liquid marijuana, but not marijuana in plant form.

Racial Inequality Of Pot Arrests Spurs ACLU Call For Legalizing Drug In PA

Oct 23, 2017
Carolyn Kaster / AP

Backed by a new report showing stark differences in arrest rates for possessing marijuana, the Pennsylvania chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union is calling on the state to legalize the drug.

Gene J. Puskar / AP

Pennsylvania Auditor General Eugene DePasquale said he thinks fully legalizing medical and recreational marijuana could solve the state's growing budget problems.

Allegheny County Airport Authority

The Pittsburgh International Airport is about to have a major makeover. Airport Authority CEO Christina Cassotis said the Pittsburgh region is "a growing, tech-focused economy" and its airport should better reflect that. The renovations are expected to cost $1.1 billion

Governor Tom Wolf / Flickr

For several months, the state Health Department has been refusing to disclose who is on the panels that scored applications for medical marijuana licenses.

But now, the Department of Open Records is ordering the agency to release the information. 

The Open Records decision comes after protracted back-and-forth between the DOH and PennLive.

After releasing permits to grow, process and sell medical marijuana to select applicants, the department wouldn’t name the panelists who had made those decisions.

Seth Weing / AP

Some patients in Pennsylvania could be able to get prescriptions for medical marijuana early next year. In the meantime, many doctors, pharmacists and other health care providers have questions.

Pennsylvania Picks Medical Marijuana Program Dispensaries

Jun 29, 2017
Haven Daley / AP

Medical marijuana patients will be able to obtain the drug from 52 locations that have just been issued permits by the Pennsylvania government.

Governor Tom Wolf / Flickr

As GOP leaders search high and low for more than $2 billion to patch the commonwealth’s budget gaps, one state senator is trying to tempt his colleagues with revenue projections from one of his longtime pet issues—recreational marijuana.

Flickr user Global Panorama

PurePenn and AGRiMED Industries have been awarded licenses to grow and process medical marijuana in Southwestern Pennsylvania.

PurePenn is located in McKeesport; AgriMed is in Carmichaels in Greene County.

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