Pa. House continues debate over medical marijuana, governor thanks advocates for their fight

HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) – While members of the state House were debating a bill to legalize medical marijuana, Governor Tom Wolf was thanking the people who have been fighting for the legislation.

“This is historic and it’s happening today because of what you all have done, and I think that’s really important,” Wolf said during a meeting in his Capitol reception room.

“I am proud to say that I am part of that,” said Dana Ulrich, of Campaign for Compassion.

“To have him just give us a pep talk and thank us for our work, it was really sweet and kind,” said Latrisha Bentch, of Campaign For Compassion.

Campaign for Compassion was started by Pennsylvania parents who wanted to use medical cannabis to treat their children for seizures. Their grassroots effort expanded to include all patients they believed could benefit from medical cannabis.

They have focused on educating lawmakers on medical marijuana for the past two years and it looks like their efforts are paying off.

“I know our work is not done just yet, but we are getting there. We are getting really close,” Ulrich said.

The House is getting closer to a final vote on Senate Bill 3. More than 200 amendments have been proposed since Monday. Advocates believe many of those amendments were a stalling tactic.

“I think that some of the people that filed those amendments have a lot of nerve getting between these patients and the only hope that they have left,” Bentch said.

“Let’s just get medicine to sick people as quickly as humanly possible. These people need it now, my daughter needs it now, let’s just get it done,” Ulrich said.

Wolf says he is waiting for the bill to reach his desk.

“From what I have seen, it is moving in the right direction and I look forward to it getting to my desk and I look forward to signing it as quickly as possible,” he said.

The House is expected to take a final vote on Wednesday.

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