Pennsylvania Medical Marijuana Legislation Signed Into Law, 24th State To Do So
Apr 18, 2016 01:25 AM EDT
Pennsylvania has become the 24th to legalize medical marijuana as Governor Tom Wolf signed its legislation into a law on Sunday. The program will take effect by next month.
In a report by 6 ABC, the signing was supported by lawmakers on Sunday as well as mothers and veterans who were the center of the legislation. This comes days after the legislation was passed by the State and the House with overwhelming support.
Patients with serious medical conditions such as Autism, chronic pain, cancer, epilepsy, neurological and gastrointestinal disorders, and post-traumatic stress disorder will be able to access medical marijuana with the use of a physician's prescription, Penn Live reported.
The state's Department of Health will be authorizing up to 150 dispensaries all over the state. It is expected that the program will be taking 18 to 24 months to be fully implemented.
For the meantime, patients in Pennsylvania are still allowed to cross to other states to access the drug at dispensaries in other areas where medical marijuana has been made legal. The only kinds of marijuana that will be approved are pills, creams, and oils that could be used in a vapor. However, smoking marijuana will be prohibited, The Wall Street Journal reported.
The bill was supported by many for more than two years before it was passed by the Senate and the House. One of the supporters, Dana Ulrich, a mother who has an eight-year-old daughter who needs the drug, said she knew the day would come after working tirelessly with lawmakers. She noted that the bill will be able to save the lives of millions of people.
The bill will also be including a "safe haven" provision, protecting parents who give medical marijuana to their children under 18 as long as they have an approved condition. Children will be allowed to be given the medicinal plant a month after the governor signed the legislation into a bill. However, adults will only gain access to the program after six months.