Conservative Republican Senator Mike Folmer is co-sponsoring a bill to legalize medical marijuana in Pennsylvania.
Although polls show more than 80 percent of Pennsylvanians approve of medical marijuana, the bill is not moving a at the Capitol.
Folmer recently took a trip to Colorado, where medical cannabis has been legal since 2001, to see whether it is working there. He was accompanied by a group of Midstate doctors.
“We were everywhere and we saw a lot in a short amount of time,” Folmer said. “I think we did our homework. We did everything we needed to do.”
The senator visited a grow farm, a chemist, and two dispensaries in the Colorado Springs area.
“The dispensaries we got to see helped me reinforce how controlled it is,” Folmer said. “I also got to see it first hand in its various forms.”
During his visit, Folmer met several families who relocated to Colorado to have access to Charlotte’s Web, an oil form of medical cannabis that is low in THC, the psychoactive part, and high in CBD. The medicine has been shown to reduce seizures in children.
“These are everyday folk. These are not hippies or party people,” Folmer said. “These are everyday folk who just want to have hope for their children and hope for anyone suffering from any disease that this great plant can help.”
While the senator was doing an interview with abc27 News, he was approached by a woman who overhead he was trying to legalize medical marijuana in Pennsylvania.
“I was overhearing the interview that you were doing before and I wanted to come in and thank them,” Jodi Canary said. “I moved here from Indiana. I use medical marijuana for severe nausea. It helps me tremendously and I do not fall asleep like I did with the pharmaceuticals. I am able to hold two jobs, I am an accountant and I am a front desk clerk at a hotel. I have a 5-year-old kid. I just hope everyone else can see what good it is doing and that this can spread nationwide.”
Folmer says the trip was a pick-me-up.
“We have a great opportunity to help all sick people in Pennsylvania. There is diabetes, cancer, Alzheimer’s, PTSD, epilepsy. It reinforced that this can be done in Pennsylvania with no fear,” he said. “I have so much to share with my fellow legislators. I think its a win-win for Pennsylvania and this trip reinforced that.”
Senate Bill 1182 is scheduled for its second committee hearing on June 10.
No taxpayer money was used for the trip.