In a letter to Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who asked this week for Congress to remove protections on states’ medical marijuana programs, Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf had a lot to say. His emphasis was on the fact that states don’t need government interference getting in the way of the state’s ability to provide the chronically and severely ill with medical marijuana to ease their symptoms. In fact, the involvement of the federal government-and more particularly, Sessions, who seems to take his cues from Reefer Madness-is viewed as downright detrimental to the health of these programs and the people who utilize them.
Pennsylvania passed a law last year that will enable individuals with certain conditions to obtain a limited selection of medical marijuana products. Dispensary and growing licenses are expected to be handed out at the end of this month, though the legislation itself will not fully go into effect until next year. The state is among the thirty in this country that have legalized medical marijuana to some capacity-meaning that over half of the country has spoken out in favor of the natural medicine.
Sessions doesn’t seem to care about the will of the people, not when it stands in the way of his seemingly personal vendetta against the plant. But as stated in this Forbes article, it is unlikely that the federal government will go along with what the Attorney General wants. In the article, chief legal officer of the National Association of Cannabis Businesses stated that “Politically, medical marijuana is a winner, and incredibly popular with the public.”
There’s no doubt that there would be a massive outcry from state officials as well as advocacy groups should Sessions be granted the ability to pursue his misguided “crackdown” on legalized marijuana.
Wolf has stated that he is prepared to petition the Pennsylvania Attorney General to take legal action should it come down to it, in order to protect the rights of patients, as well as the rights of the state to make these decisions without federal agencies threatening them.
Photo by Gage Skidmore