In a matter of days Pennsylvania is expected to become the 24th state to legalize medical marijuana. That leaves many wondering how it will work.
The use of medical marijuana in Pennsylvania isn’t something that we will see come to life for another year and a half.
Governor Tom Wolf is expected to sign the medical marijuana bill into law on Sunday.
There are 17 medical conditions that medical marijuana will be legally used to treat including epilepsy, cancer, MS and PTSD.
Patients will need a recommendation from a physician who is registered with the state and trained. Then that patient will need to be issued a medical marijuana card from the state, that will allow them to get the drug from one of 50 dispensaries throughout Pennsylvania.
Misty Chatt is an Erie mom who says medical marijuana can help her 5-year-old daughter Layla. Layla suffers from epilepsy. Misty says the drugs Layla is currently on for her disease makes her so doped up that she can’t even function on a daily basis.
“With the daily life of the seizures, it is heartbreaking for the parents to have to see that,” Misty said. “When it comes down to it, if you could give your child something that had no side effects of these other medicines have and it works, wouldn’t you do it?”
The president of the Erie County Medical Association says he still has more questions than answers.
“Some of the medical indications are very vague,” Dr Timothy Pelkowski says. “For instance, it may say cancer, but what exactly does that mean? I don’t know quite yet.”
Of course many skeptics worry about the trickle down effect and possible recreational use, but medical marijuana will not be able to be smoked. It will come in the forms of pills, topical creams and oils.
It is unknown how much medical marijuana will cost, but because it is not an FDA drug, it will not be covered by health insurance.