Close up doctor holding marijuana bud
What changes could be coming to Pennsylvania’s medical marijuana program?
One proposal would allow medical marijuana to be prescribed for any health condition
Airdate: July 6th, 2023
Legalizing marijuana for medical purposes was considered a major milestone in Pennsylvania seven years ago because it got so much support from Pennsylvanians and lawmakers of both political parties. But it also appears to be a work in progress.
There are proposals to loosen regulations to allow doctors to approve medical marijuana for any health condition rather than just the ones allowed by law now. Spotlight PA’s Ed Mahon has been following the medical marijuana program for some time and told us more on The Spark Friday, “Right now you need to have a specific condition like anxiety, chronic pain, cancer, HIV-AIDS, epilepsy. There are a bunch of very specific ones and some of them aren’t specific. The big three are anxiety, chronic pain and PTSD as the reason people get a card. In Pennsylvania, there is a push to get rid of that list entirely and leave it up to a doctor to say you have a medical condition and I think it would help you so you’re free to go.”
Another proposed change would allow doctors to advertise that they can approve medical marijuana.
Mahon discussed what isn’t addressed in current proposals,”Right now, if you have cannabis in your system, even though you’re not high, even though you’re not impaired while driving, it can still show up in your system and that can lead to DUI charges. And that’s that’s a major concern. There’s been some action to try and push changes through on that, but they haven’t passed yet and they’re not addressed in this bill. There’s employment protections for patients. Similar issue. The law itself has protections, some protections in place, but they’re also nebulous or contradictory. So employees can be in a position where if they test positive for cannabis, they can lose their job, even if there’s not evidence of impairment while they were working.”
More proposals are out there that could set the stage if marijuana became legal for recreational purposes like allowing those who grow marijuana for medical purposes to grow it for adult use as well. But that would only happen if if marijuana is legalized for adult use in Pennsylvania.