We’re Not Reinventing the Wheel

marijuana law reformThe frustration can be overwhelming at times.

A parade of legal and medical experts. Countless studies. Average people stepping forward to tell their own stories of relief from medical conditions– conditions prescription medications didn’t help. Parents standing in front of news crews and our elected representatives, sharing the pain of a sick child being denied medication approved by their doctor. Seemingly endless committees, all weighing in on something with a wealth of information available, like no one knows what marijuana does. Hearing after hearing…

And despite all this, and more evidence coming to light every day, our legislature is seemingly debating this issue in a vacuum.

And now, thanks to the State House “tabling” the original bill, we’re faced with doing it all over again.

It’s enough to drive anyone crazy.

Pennsylvania is closer than it’s ever been to legalization, at least for medicinal marijuana, but we’re still a long way from making it happen, mostly because our legislature refuses to recognize we are not starting from scratch here.

It’s now legal in 4 states. The largest city in Pennsylvania has even moved to decriminalize marijuana possession. Are our representatives so out of touch with their constituents, they cannot see the forest for all the trees?

Maybe it’s a matter of politics. The kind of back room bargaining that is all too familiar in the history of Pennsylvania.

It’s been suggested the status of alcohol sales may be the real reason the Pennsylvania State House is willing to utterly ignore the examples of successful legalization and functioning marketplaces that already exist in Colorado and Washington state.

The fact is, the Republican party may be holding medicinal marijuana–real medicine, desperately needed by real people– hostage to their desire to privatize alcohol sales in the state. That, maybe, if that happened, they’d be willing to go along with some form of legalization.

That’s the only explanation I can find for why they are treating legalization like we’re reinventing the wheel.

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