Legislators hold town hall on medical cannabis

The legalization of medical marijuana was the hot topic at a town hall meeting Thursday night.

Dozens of parents who want their children to be able to take the drug came together in Cumberland County to ask questions and get answers.

The most recent Franklin and Marshall poll shows that an overwhelming majority of Pennsylvanians, 84 percent, are in favor of legalizing medical marijuana. That same poll shows 2 percent of people strongly oppose it.

It is a very polarizing topic, so state legislators are holding town hall meetings to bring people together and talk it out.

At the Fairview Township fire department, Midstaters gathered to talk about legalizing medical cannabis. The event was hosted by state Representative Mike Regan.

“I think when they see that it’s just medicine that’s gonna help sick people I think it gets a lot simpler,” Regan said.

Senator Mike Folmer, who authored a bill to legalize medical marijuana, was also there.

“For thousands of years this plant was used to treat medical conditions. It’s only the last 70 years it hasn’t been,” Folmer said.

Both men used to be against legalization until they did some digging. Now, they are educating others at events.

No one attended the meeting who opposes legalization.

There were several parents of sick children who are desperate for a cure.

People like Michael and Angela Ferro whose 12-year-old son has epilepsy.

“We’ve gone through a number of pharmaceuticals over the years and none of those have really any positive effect,” said Chris Ferro. “All we want is a chance. All we want is the opportunity. What we’ve asked legislators to do is to not give us marijuana. It’s to give our doctors the ability.”

Although there were not any skeptics of legalization, there were plenty of skeptics about the politics behind it.

“When will they allow us to have a vote on this? When will they allow this issue to let the people decide because to me as you saw, this room I think it’s 100 percent are in favor of this. If you took a vote tonight it wins overwhelmingly. We want the same opportunity in the legislature,” Ferro said.

Folmer and Regan are both optimistic that the bill will will be voted in law by the end of the year. In the mean time, they plan to hold more town hall meetings.

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