Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf: Medical Pot Is 'Being Done the Right Way' – NBC 10 Philadelphia
Exactly one year after signing a historic medical marijuana bill, Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf called the program “life-changing legislation.”
Speaking from Harrisburg Monday afternoon, Wolf was surrounded by families and advocates eager to see the program take off next year. He assured them the state is on track to implement medical pot by 2018.
“This is really a good bill. It’s being done the right way,” he said.
“We have learned from failures and trials, the challenges, of other states and I think we’ve done everything in our power to make sure we don’t repeat some of those mistakes.”
Wolf did not single out any states in particular, but neighboring New Jersey has notoriously struggled with their program since voters approved it in 2010.
The Garden State recently received a C-grade from Americans for Safe Access (or ASA) in their yearly report. The advocacy group concluded that Gov. Chris Christie’s anti-pot stance hindered proper implementation of the program, which has made it difficult for patients to access their medication.
Under current regulations, prescriptions must be obtained from one of six licensed centers and just five are operating in the entire state. Only patients with qualifying conditions that are “resistant to conventional medical therapy” are eligible for the program. They must be re-certified by a licensed doctor every 90 days.
Maryland also received a C grade. The state’s slow implementation has left patients without access to medical marijuana for years as dispensaries continue an uphill battle to open, according to ASA. The state does not explicitly allow patients to grow their own pot, leaving many people high and dry.
Wolf anticipates no such problems in Pennsylvania.
“We actually have doctors that are going to understand why this is good,” he said. “We’re going to have medical professionals in hospitals who have done