State Senator calls for broader legalization of marijuana oil

Written by Ben Allen and Radio Pennsylvania | May 2, 2014 1:33 PM

(Harrisburg) -- A day after Governor Corbett shifted his position to allow for limited use of an oil extract from the marijuana plant to treat severe seizures in children, the Republican state Senator Mike Folmer is calling for more.


Folmer, the leading Republican proponent of such a move, says the change isn't broad enough.

The Lebanon County lawmaker has made medical marijuana one of his top issues, arguing government shouldn't restrict how patients treat their illnesses.

He's the sponsor of a bill, along with Democratic Senator Daylin Leach, that would legalize medical marijuana oil across the board in Pennsylvania.

"Is it just CBD only, because quite frankly, if its not the Charlotte's Web strain, which is a very low THC, very high CBD strain, from the whole plant, is it going to show the same benefits, or is this just gonna be a little research on what cannabidiol can do?" says Folmer.

Compare that to what Governor Corbett has proposed, which is very limited use of what's known as CBD oil, and Folmer says too many are getting ignored.

"What about our veterans suffering from PTSD? What about cancer patients? What about diabetes patients? We have research, white papers, that show how this helps diabetes. It just doesn't go far enough."

Folmer's legislation would also have the state Departments of Health and Agriculture regulate every step of the process.

For his part, Governor Corbett says he wants to take small steps.

His spokesperson has revealed Penn State Hershey Medical Center and Children's Hospital in Pittsburgh would handle the pilot program, which includes studies into the effectiveness of the oil, if the extract is legalized.

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