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Smart Talk is a daily, live, interactive program featuring conversations with newsmakers and experts in a variety of fields and exploring a wide range of issues and ideas, including the economy, politics, health care, education, culture, and the environment.  Smart Talk airs live every week day at 9 a.m. on WITF’s 89.5 and 93.3.

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Smart Talk Friday is a fast-paced program featuring thoughtful and engaging conversations about the politics, policy and people who are shaping Pennsylvania’s future. Host Scott LaMar and WITF Capitol Bureau Chief Mary Wilson invite your multimedia interaction before, during and after the program.


Hosts: Scott LaMar and Mary Wilson

Smart Talk: Legalize medical marijuana in PA?; New transportation funding

Written by Scott LaMar, Smart Talk Host/Executive Producer | Nov 24, 2013 4:55 PM

What to look for on Smart Talk Monday, November 25, 2013:

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Garrett Brann

LEGALIZE MEDICAL MARIJUANA

Three-year-old Garrett Brann has a severe form of epilepsy.  The little boy from Hershey often suffers seizures only minutes apart.  

In 20 other states, marijuana is legally prescribed to reduce seizures, but not in Pennsylvania.  As a result, the Brann family is considering moving to a state where medical marijuana is legal. 

Two Pennsylvania state senators -- one Democrat and one Republican -- have proposed legislation to make marijuana lawful for medical purposes.

Republican Sen. Mike Fulmer appears on Monday's Smart Talk to explain, along with Garrett's mother Christine Brann.

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Christine Brann

NEW TRANSPORTATION FUNDING

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Also, it's been a long time coming but it appears Pennsylvania will soon have up to $2.3 billion annually to be used for road and bridge upgrades and repairs and mass transit.

Pennsylvania Deputy Secretary of Transportation Brad Mallory will be a guest on Monday's program to tell us how the money will be generated and what it will be used for.

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Comments: 13

  • Radio Smart Talk img 2013-11-25 09:20

    Alan emails:

    I had a friend in Lancaster who had once told me that 10 or 15 years ago she was able to legally procure medical marijuana from her doctor for her daughter who was suffering from cancer. Do your guests know anything about this?

    • Christine img 2013-11-25 10:30

      The medicaion could have been Marinol, a man-made derivative of THC, the psychoactive compound of marijuana.

  • Radio Smart Talk img 2013-11-25 09:23

    A listener emails:

    Personally,the so called "GATEWAY" to other harder drugs is untrue. But---if you're forced to go into the seedy world of "scoring".
    You are introduced and offered other drugs. And of course with teenagers there is always the drive to experiment. Which is a moot point, and unargumentative when you're talking about "medicinal marijuana". However, the pharmaceutical industry continues to damage us with their alternatives. By the way, I'm still suffering permanent side effects to Seroquuel,that I've discontinued years ago, in favor of marijuana. Meanwhile, when I'm afflicted with mental ailments. I'm listening to this woman with a young child with an even more severe disability. AND THE ARGUMENT GOES ON!

  • Radio Smart Talk img 2013-11-25 09:24

    Janet emails:

    Please spell the name of the seizure disorder. Don't give up. Teeny. Thanks.

    • Christine img 2013-11-25 10:33

      Garrett's condition is called Dravet Syndrome. Thanks for listening this morning and for the words of encouragement!

  • Radio Smart Talk img 2013-11-25 09:37

    A listener emails:

    The legalization of "Medical Marijuana",will treat so many people,from the smoking inhalation form,tablets and oils.
    It would take money off the streets.
    It would create taxes.
    It would legitimize the possession.
    It would end the discrimination of having it in your system.
    It would be safe, to purchase and procure the product.
    Pennsylvania is OLD MONEY and POWER!
    Recreational?-sure-but -not for along time.
    But in the meanwhile,let the lobbyist/politicians/and drug companys deny us an alternative in the interim !

  • Radio Smart Talk img 2013-11-25 09:39

    TRANSPORTATION FUNDING COMMENTS...

    Mark emails:

    Given that money is hard to find for even basic maintenance of Pennsylvania’s roads and bridges, can Mr. Mallory please explain why it is necessary to expand the PA Turnpike to six lanes west of Carlisle, in what is probably one of the least travelled portions of the Turnpike? If projected traffic volume warrants six lanes in this area, will the tunnels at Blue Mountain also be expanded to six lanes? Thanks.

  • Radio Smart Talk img 2013-11-25 09:52

    A listener emails:

    Penndot wants a large budget.
    It's not about road repair.
    In the past when it came to replacing storage buildings,the alternative was to put on a new roof(inexpensive),but Penndot wanted to raze them,and fund them with increases.
    However a Penndot official was cited as saying"this will get our big budget going.
    With big budgets comes more pay,a even bigger bureaucracy,and who knows-this would become a political appointee position.
    But you drive by these bridges and see peeling paint-rust-corrosion.
    Where has the preventative maintenance been all of these decades.
    Further more there are tens if not hundreds of billions in federal funds for road work.
    All bottled up in red tape,bureaucracy,political nepotism.
    Look how long it takes to put a stop sign!!!!

  • Radio Smart Talk img 2013-11-25 09:53

    A listener emails:

    Why not: Title SUVs as trucks. Tax, fuel consumption. Increase fines. Require people that move here out of state,to promptly acquire a Pa license and registration. I have several cars, I'm the sole driver, I'm conservative with the autos use,so if Penndot increases registrations,I'll be paying a inappropriate amount based on my usage.

  • frank.mcmanus img 2013-11-25 09:57

    Your discussion of medical marijuana didn't present any cogent objections to its acceptance. Yet most legislators oppose it. What conclusion must be drawn from this fact? Only one: most legislators want sick little children to suffer more.

    What am I missing here?

    • Robert Colgan img 2013-11-26 02:19

      I think you have over estimated the charitable nature of PA legislators, Frank.
      Aside from that, you have it right.

  • deshojo1951 img 2013-11-28 16:49

    I'm sorry I missed this program. There was not enough time for a through discussion on the topic. I'd like to see an hour long program on this topic.
    Medical Cannabis in the use for children is very new. There is so much to be learned about all of the possible health benefits that have yet to be discovered. A lot of the research to date has been conducted in Spain, and some European country's.
    The US is in it's infancy in research, due to lies and fabrications of
    Harry Anslinger, and the Marijuana Tax Act of 1937. No one has ever died from an overdose of marijuana, but at the same time, Gov. Corbett wants to allow alcohol to be sold 24 hours a day, seven days a week. This I believe to be wrong. The laws will change in Pa as soon as we get rid of Corbet.

    All the best to Christine, and Garrett. Peace and Love

  • WPM img 2014-03-28 08:40

    Pop was legal in early 1900s and could be bought at drug stops. People who want to smoke weather it's legal or not. It's been said that making it legal would save and get more taxes if it becomes legal. We spend way to much money prosecuting and housing people that costs us millions. In my case I suffer with a migraine that never goes away since 1995. Three of my doctors say that smoking it would be very good for me. I've tried it and it does me better than the morphing and oxycotin I take every day. I could really use it to stop taking those. I don't drive or drink at all. I just lay in my chair with my thumping every day. Help me and make it at least medical pot. I could at least go out.

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