In a decisive 40-7 vote, the Pennsylvania Senate on Tuesday passed a bill to legalize the use of medical marijuana for seriously ill patients.
Sponsored by Republican Sen. Mike Folmer, the bill would allow patients suffering from a list of debilitating illnesses to purchase and use smokeless medical marijuana through state-regulated dispensaries, reports the Philadelphia Inquirer.
Smoking marijuana will not be permitted, but all patients will be able to use medical marijuana in edible form, while certain patients with qualifying conditions would be allowed to vaporize cannabis.
“Seriously ill Pennsylvanians are one step closer to finding relief with the passage of SB 3 in the Senate,” said Karen O’Keefe, director of state policies for the Marijuana Policy Project, in a statement. “We commend the Senators for supporting this compassionate, sensible legislation. Representatives in the House should listen to the vast majority of their constituents who think people should have safe access to the medicine that works for them without being treated like criminals.”
The bill now heads to the House, where Democratic caucus spokesman Bill Patton said its chances are good.
“If it gets an up-or-down vote in the House, it will pass,” Patton told the Inquirer.