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Pennsylvania's New Law Legalizing Medical Marijuana

We've all heard of the fight for medical marijuana going on in many states throughout the country. This battle was won in Pennsylvania this week, but that doesn't mean it will not be without its challenges. Following years of lobbying, Governor Tom Wolf signed the use of medical marijuana into law.

The reason some of those who advocated for the passing of this bill believe challenges are on the horizon is that, even though state legislation has passed, little regulatory power is available for local officials regarding their influence over cultivation and dispensaries. The information outlined below will help you have a better understanding of this law before you begin your treatment.

Where does this leave local municipalities?

The underlying belief is that some municipalities will begin passing ordinances stating they do not want marijuana organizations. However, these attempts toward local prohibition are likely going to be overturned despite several areas of the state resisting the legalizing of medical marijuana.

Allowance of non-smokable types of this medical treatment was passed by the House 149-46 and by the Senate 42-7. Pennsylvania does not allow for individual communities to block dispensaries from the sale of the drug, unlike laws in Oregon, California, and Colorado.

What is the ultimate goal of the law?

While there are fears of an increase in crime associated with growing operations in local communities, there are positive reasons for the signing of this bill. The ultimate goal is to provide patients equal access to the medical treatment they need consistently across the state.

The primary reason the state doesn't want to allow individual localities to ban the use of medical marijuana is that they believe it will cause the system to become fractured, thus creating more confusion than benefits.

Pennsylvania law does have restrictions

Unlike the laws in Colorado, Oregon, and California that allow home cultivation and smokable products, the Pennsylvania law has restrictions including those related to surveillance, mandatory tracking and indoor cultivation. Other restrictions involve the use of topicals, pills, and oils to treat conditions.

Health officials have not finished determining the specifics yet, though. It's important for you to have a firm understanding of what is okay to use for your treatment before beginning, as well as which dispensaries are operating in accordance with the law.

Do you have concerns about using medical marijuana?

It is not uncommon for you to have concerns about treating your condition with the use of medical marijuana, especially when a new law has just gone into effect. If you have received a prescription to go to a dispensary and begin treatment, and you are concerned about doing so, you can consult with a criminal defense attorney regarding your rights beforehand.

They will discuss the new law with you, how you are protected under the law and why these dispensaries are okay to use.

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