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Senators Co-Sponsor Bill To Legalize Medical Marijuana

PITTSBURGH (NewsRadio 1020 KDKA) - Every day prescription drugs are being given out to patients, but what we aren't realizing is that some of those drugs can become addictive to the user. Why does the medical industry give patients a drug they know can be addictive instead of fighting to use medical marijuana?

Change is on the horizon for Pennsylvania as two senators join forces to support a bill to legalize medical marijuana. Sen. Daylin Leach and Sen. Mike Folmer brought out legislation on Tuesday that proposes to legalize medical marijuana in Pennsylvania.

Sen. Daylin Leach (Pt. 1)

"Every day that these kids aren't getting the medicine they need is a day of their life they'll never get back," said Sen. Leach. "A day they can't develop cognitively, a day their brain suffers damage from these seizures."

Their legislation plans to provide more than just the Charlotte's Web strain of marijuana. That strain contains an element of the marijuana plant that is distilled in oil, cannabidiol. The high amounts are used to combat and control seizures.

Sen. Daylin Leach (Pt. 2)

The senators hope that more strains of marijuana can be created and used for patients who suffer from cancer, glaucoma, seizures and other chronic conditions. They have plans to create an advisory board to oversee the industry by regulating the farms, dispensaries and the application process.

Gov. Tom Corbett has made it clear that he will not pass any bill until the FDA approves the use of medical marijuana.

The senators are concerned that waiting until that happens is too long to wait for many people.

"I can't read the governor's mind, but I can tell you a couple of things," said Sen. Leach. "The medicines we prescribe now opiates and Oxycontin, and Percocet are highly-toxic, highly-addictive drugs with huge side effects, but people are allowed to have those. When something as benign comparatively as marijuana, they can't have it all."

Sen. Daylin Leach (Pt. 3)

By federal law, marijuana is considered a schedule 1 drug, the same category as ecstasy and crack. Sen. Leach doesn't seem the similarities there.

He feels that people live in fear from what they were told from the '60s. People tend to lump marijuana with the Vietnam War, amnesty and abortion.

Sen. Leach calls this their "whore-ideaology" where women are burning their bras for peace.

"People like that think that the average pot smoker looks like Jimmy Hendrix," said Sen. Leach. "When in reality the average pot smoker today looks like Dick Cheney."

Sen. Daylin Leach (Pt. 4)

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