GUEST BLOG: Why I Changed My Mind About Medical Marijuana

By: Rep. Mike Vereb

April 13, 2016

Two years ago, I was a no vote on the legalization of medical marijuana, but that was before I heard from families in my district and across the state that will benefit from this important legislation. This bill will allow doctors to prescribe the treatment they see fit to help heal their ailing patients.

After hearing from patients, their families, and advocates, I knew we were missing an opportunity to help people who are suffering. I heard from a woman name Erin McCann who shared with me stories of her own child’s struggles with seizures, and Erin urged me to hold hearings. Erin’s story is one we cannot turn our back on.

And as a father of three, I cannot simply look into the eyes of these kids and see that suffering without wanting to help.

We should not deny doctor-recommended treatment that could help cancer patients that are receiving chemotherapy or children like Erin’s who suffer from debilitating seizures.

It’s no longer difficult for me to vote yes on this bill. In fact, I wouldn’t do anything other than vote yes for this bill.

The legalization of medical marijuana will be a relief to great families, like Erin’s, who are suffering right in front of us.

As a former law enforcement officer – as a former narcotics officer – and as a parent, I urge final passage of this legislation by the House so Governor Wolf can sign it. It is long past time to provide this important medical relief to patients and families across the commonwealth.

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