Earlier today the effort to legalize marijuana in Pennsylvania received a boost from an unusual political partnership.
State Senators Dan Laughlin and Sharif Street introduced what they are calling an “Adult Use Cannabis Bill.”
We spoke with marijuana advocates and those who treat drug abusers.
With the Adult Use Cannabis Bill proposal, some people said that the benefit of marijuana use out weighs any other argument.
However, other people are worried about people not using marijuana responsibly.
Officials with the medical marijuana dispensary, Rise Erie, said they hope the proposed bill passes.
“At this point in time we applaud the effort to move this cannabis legalization forward in Pennsylvania. We are thrilled that this momentum is finally here,” said Jill Beck, Director of Community Engagement for Rise Erie Dispensary.
Senator Laughlin said that passing this bill is the next logical step after medicinal use was passed years ago.
Beck said that marijuana gives people another option for medicating instead of alcohol. It can also ease painful symptoms for medical patients.
“We have seen heartbreaking stories. People come in and they are utilizing a walker. Sixty days later they are coming in on their own. So there is definitely medical benefits,” said Beck.
Officials with Emergycare said that they are not on one side or the other, but are worried that people may abuse the drug.
“When we talk about alcohol and driving and you know or using heavy machinery or something like that, there is risk in that. So really from our perspective, our caution would be or concern would be more or less would be are people acting responsibly with it,” said David Basnak, Emergycare Assistant Director.
Basnak said when marijuana is not produced legally, what it’s possibly mixed with it can cause a whole new level of danger.
“At least it being manufactured legally and understanding how it is made and stuff like that. It is a little easier to deal with because you know what you are working with and compared to something that someone illegally obtained and does not know what it is laced with,” said Basnak.
Basnak added that they do get calls for people using marijuana but not as frequent as prescription pain killers, heroin, or alcohol.