State Rep. Cohen Will Push Pa. Med Marijuana Bill

State Rep. Cohen Will Push Pa. Med Marijuana Bill
Posted by CN Staff on March 21, 2009 at 07:38:40 PT
By Peter Mucha, Inquirer Staff Writer
Source: Philadelphia Inquirer
Pennsylvania -- State Rep. Mark Cohen of Philadelphia said yesterday he hoped to introduce a bill next month to legalize the medical use of marijuana in Pennsylvania."There is obviously no consensus on legalizing marijuana, but there is a widespread consensus on legalizing medical marijuana," the Democrat said. "I think there is a solid scientific case and there is overwhelming popular support."
Cohen expects his bill to "emulate" legislation being considered by New Jersey's Assembly after passage by the state Senate.The New Jersey measure would let registered patients suffering from cancer, multiple sclerosis and other illnesses grow marijuana plants for medical use or buy the drug at a licensed center. Gov. Corzine said he'd sign the bill.Cohen, whose district is mostly in Northeast Philadelphia, expects his bill not only to require prescriptions, but to set forth a plan for regulating distribution and sales.More study, including input from state officials, would be needed to determine the best setup, whether that involves using existing state stores and pharmacies or new providers."I think it can easily raise $25 million a year in taxes," said Cohen.Next month, Michigan will join a dozen other states, including California, that have legalized the medical use of marijuana.In recent years, there has been little talk of such a move in the Pennsylvania legislature.Some physicians and patients say that other medications can be even more dangerous, Cohen said."I'm aware of potential dangers that abuse can cause, but all prescription drugs can also be abused," he said.The Associated Press contributed to this article.Source: Philadelphia Inquirer, The (PA)Author: Peter Mucha, Inquirer Staff WriterPublished: March 21, 2009Copyright: 2009 Philadelphia Newspapers IncURL: Inquirer.Letters phillynews.comWebsite: Medical Marijuana Archives
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