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With New Governor Comes New Push To Legalize Medical Marijuana In Pennsylvania

By Tony Romeo

HARRISBURG, Pa. (CBS) -- With a new governor in office, chances for approval of medical marijuana in Pennsylvania have improved considerably. The effort to enact a law started from the beginning again on Tuesday in the new session of the legislature.

Two state senators who got a medical marijuana bill through the Senate in the last session have announced their intention to renew their effort. The make-up of the Senate has changed but Jennifer Kocher, spokeswoman for Republican majority leaders, notes that the bill passed by a wide margin last year.

"Once it moves through committee, we are planning to move it to the floor," she says, "and we don't envision it being a big problem."

And the big change from last session is that the new governor, Democrat Tom Wolf, strongly supports medical marijuana.

"I want to give doctors the ability to practice medicine as they see fit," Wolf says. "It pains me that any citizen of Pennsylvania is not getting the treatment that he or she needs because of some legal impediment that we've put in the way."

So the big question is whether the even more conservative House will budge on the issue. A spokesman for the majority leader will only say there will be hearings in that chamber, and that the chance for passage will depend on the bill and what it does.

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