Governor Tom Wolf holds roundtable chat on medical marijuana

Written by Emily Previti/Keystone Crossroads | May 19, 2015 5:01 AM

Photo by AP Photo/David Goldman

Legalizing medical marijuana is an issue in other states. In this file photo, Corey Lowe, left, carries a picture of her daughter, Victoria Elizabeth, who was diagnosed with mitochondrial disease, as she speaks with Sarah Caruso after Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal signed a medical marijuana bill into law at the Statehouse, April 16, 2015, in Atlanta.

(Harrisburg) -- Backers of the effort to legalize medical marijuana in Pennsylvania are trying to build momentum during the legislature's spring recess.

Governor Tom Wolf hosted a round table on the issue less than a week after the measure cleared the state Senate.

Democratic Representative Ed Gainey of Allegheny County says he believes the proposal has enough support pass the House, if it doesn't stall in committee.

"What I want them to focus on his why we got elected," he says. "That's to be leaders of people, and provide the relief families need."

Justin Ely says one of those families is his.

Ely, a state trooper based in Dauphin County, says no treatments have worked so far for his four year-old son's epilepsy and multiple daily seizures.

"I've seen the negative impact of pharmaceuticals at work with people who overdose, I've seen negative impacts of pharmaceuticals at work at home with having to pretty much load my kid up with meds," he says. "He gets extremely sedated, makes him extremely cranky and irritable. We're just here to fight for medicine that can hopefully avoid that."

Advocates dominated the 90-minute session at the governor's residence in Harrisburg.

No one was present from the Pennsylvania Medical Society or other opponents.

The group and others haves previously cited inadequate research backing its medical effectiveness, and potential liability for prescribing physicians.

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