PA Senate Approves Medical Marijuana Bill, It Now Heads to House

MAY 13, 2015

The Pennsylvania state Senate on Tuesday night voted 40-7 to approve a bill that would legalize medical marijuana for certain medical conditions and serious illnesses.

Here’s the long and short of it: The bill, which is known politically as SB 3, would allow edible forms of marijuana and vaporization – but smoking.

Patients would have to get the cannabis from a licensed and regulated dispensary. No, they may not grow their own plants according to the legislation verbiage. Yes, patients younger than 18 would need parental consent.

As we discussed yesterday, the conditions that qualified to be treated via medical marijuana were expanded a bit to include cancer, seizures, Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, severe fibromyalgia, HIV/AIDS, glaucoma, Crohn’s disease, diabetes and chronic pain.

So what happens now? We wait until the bill reaches the House floor for consideration. If you recall, the Senate passed a similar bill last year, but it was never brought to a vote in the House.

And just so we are all on the same page: Gov. Tom Wolf said he would be supportive of a bill legalizing medical marijuana in Pennsylvania. While I am an admitted news junkie, my interest in this entire subject is driven by my want to be a better lawyer to the clients who trust me to represent them in Pittsburgh criminal defense matters – and so much of the time, that includes DUI charges.

I’ve spoken at length with folks who believed they were doing nothing illegal when they took a medication prescribed to them by a doctor for a legitimate medical reason, only to be pulled over and charged with a drug DUI.

If you have been levied with marijuana related charges, it means you are being suspected either for trafficking or cultivation of it. You must immediately resort to the competent and reliable services of an experienced criminal defense lawyer who can bail you out of this grave situation with the help of some crucial strategies.

For instance, if the evidence gathered by the prosecution involves a violation of your fundamental rights, an illegal traffic stop or a warrantless search of your home, these evidences cannot be used against you in the trial and it might be possible to dismiss all the charges against you. It might also be possible to prove that you were not aware of any such possession of marijuana or that the possession was not with an intention to distribute. You should contact a reputable Pittsburgh Criminal Lawyer immediately so that there is no delay in the proceedings.

If all the evidence points at you and there is no possible way to emerge victorious at the trial, your lawyer can negotiate with the prosecutor so that you can receive a conviction for a less severe offense in exchange for not going to trial. Finally, if the jury finds you to be guilty, s/he can also plead to the judge on your behalf in hopes of getting a lesser sentence. A Pittsburgh Criminal Lawyer who has dealt with these kinds of cases should be contacted for the best results.

And I’ve long said: marijuana DUIs are going to be the next big thing in DUI enforcement (again, we will get into Drug Recognition Experts another day).