BLOG: We Asked PA Families How They Would Be Impacted by Medical Marijuana Legalization

By: Darwin Paz, Digital Assistant

April 14, 2016

Yesterday, the Pennsylvania House passed SB3, answering the Governor Wolf’s call to send the medical marijuana legalization bill to his desk. The Governor is proud to sign this bill, which will provide long overdue medical relief to patients and families who could benefit from this treatment.

Members of both parties in the House and Senate have at last come together to help patients who have run out of medical options and thousands of advocates have fought tirelessly for this cause.

As Governor Wolf prepares to sign this historic legislation into law, take a look at what some Pennsylvania families had to say about how medical marijuana could impact them.

Jackson’s Story

By: Cara Salemme, Jackson’s Mother

Jackson“Jackson was born a healthy kid and with a twin brother. When he was 5 years old, Jackson woke up with a headache and had a seizure. He was rushed to the hospital, but continued to have seizures for three months straight. Jackson was later diagnosed with Intractable-Epilepsy: chronic uncontrolled seizures despite doctor prescribed medication. We want a better life for our child, but the medications available now aren’t helping enough and have harmful side effects. Before this legislation, we couldn’t even talk to Jackson’s doctors about the possibility of using medical marijuana. When you are fighting for your life you deserve every option available, and this legislation will finally allow us to have an open discussion, a true dialogue with Jackson’s medical team. I’ve always hoped medical marijuana would change Jackson’s life but, even if it doesn’t, I hope it will change the lives of other suffering Pennsylvanians.”

Diana’s Story

By: Louanne Speece, Diana’s Mother

Diana“I have been an advocate for medical marijuana for sometime now because I know it can change my daughter’s life. It’s not a miracle drug, but it can give her a better quality of life. I believe this process has taken so long because of fear, but soon everyone will realize medical marijuana should have legalized long ago. In other states, medical marijuana has been proven to alleviate a patient’s suffering. If medical marijuana became law today, I would be optimistic that Diana would finally receive the additional support from doctors she always needed.”

Hannah’s Story

By: Heather Shuker, Hannah’s Mother

Hannah“Our brave Hannah just turned 13 — her doctors thought she wouldn’t live long after birth. Hannah frequently experiences severe seizures and doctors haven’t been able to diagnose her condition. What we do know is that her seizure medications don’t control them completely and have drastic side effects. The side effects from these medications have physically and mentally changed our Hannah, taking away her beautiful smile and causing her to have severe depression. We know that medical marijuana is the only treatment for her without side effects. We are hoping, with new legislation in place, that with the right doctor recommended ratio of THC and CBD Hannah would be released from her depression and she could regain her strength to once again run as she joyfully used to. So far, my conversations with physicians on this subject have been on vague terms, but I hope this new law could soon open the doors to a full dialogue with Hannah’s doctors and finally provide us the professional support we have needed for a long time.”


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