Pennsylvania patients, parents and activists receive warm welcome from Governor Wolf and his top aids

Posted by on Mar 22, 2015 in Blog


On March 19, 2015, Governor Tom Wolf, sat down with a group of twenty or so patients, parents and activists working to bring a medicinal cannabis program to the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Members of Campaign4Compassion, Pittsburgh NORML, and Keystone Cannabis Coalition had the opportunity to sit down with Wolf, Policy Director John Hanger, and Chief of Staff Kathleen McGinty.

They listened to concerns that the current legislation being considered by the Senate would be too limited. The Governor and his staff demonstrated a clear understanding of trusting Pennsylvania physicians to make treatment suggestions and to not arbitrarily restrict treatable conditions or delivery methods.

“We’re so thankful the Governor sat down to talk with us. He has been very vocal in his support for medicinal cannabis” said Lolly Bentch, one of the parents fighting for medicinal cannabis for their children with severe seizure disorders. “More than once throughout this gathering, many of us felt the overwhelming urge to burst into cheers, simply for having a Governor who is so willing to join in a conversation about Medical Cannabis.” Activists’ countless requests for a meeting with the prior Administration fell on deaf ears despite a threatened sit-in.

“To listen to the Governor talk about the need for vaporization as an effective delivery method showed us that he understands the issues facing Pennsylvania patients” said Patrick K. Nightingale of Pittsburgh NORML. “He understands that this is an issue that should be between a patient and their physician.” Nightingale said.

The Governor made clear to everyone in attendance that they had a friend and ally in Harrisburg. “Remember, all three of us ran on this issue” he said drawing laughs and applause from the group. But as much as he would like to implement a medicinal cannabis program immediately, his hands are tied until the Senate and the House of Representatives act on this time sensitive matter.

Everyone in attendance acknowledged the challenges in moving forward. While there is broad public support in Pennsylvania for a medicinal Cannabis program, there remain concerns that it would be too limited by restricting treatable conditions and restricting delivery methods. A medicinal marijuana bill seems assured of passing the Senate, like it did last session, but its future in the House is less certain. For his part the Governor offered unwavering support, heartfelt encouragement, sound advice, and common sense solutions to many of the obstacles facing medicinal Cannabis advocates.

Campaign4Compassion Administrator Lolly Bentch said “As we move forward, we continue to hope that members of the General Assembly will remember one thing. Good health is promised to no one. Disease affects young and old, rich or poor. Disease HAS NO BOUNDARIES. So why should compassion have boundaries? There is no better time to extend our hearts and help one another. We must communicate the urgency of this matter to our legislature.”

Activists urge all who support medicinal cannabis to “Please call your Senator and Representative and tell them to support Medical Cannabis in the Commonwealth NOW!”

For more information:

Lolly Bentch –

Dana Ulrich –

Patrick K. Nightingale –

Les Stark –



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LVC hosts town hall meeting on hemp, medical pot

Posted by on Mar 14, 2015 in Blog

Wonderful Article about the Town Hall from The Lebanon Daily News

20150311__347025~s500~ph_500“Ladies and gentlemen, this is about education, and that’s what we’re hoping to do for you this evening. To break and bring down any of the fears and trepidations you may have when you hear the word ‘marijuana’,” said Sen. Mike Folmer (R-48) at the outset of a town hall meeting Wednesday night.

The meeting, at Lebanon Valley College’s Leedy Theatre, addressed Senate Bill 3, which covers medical cannabis, and Senate Bill 50, which covers industrial hemp. Folmer is the sponsor of SB3 and co-sponsor of SB50.

Speakers at the meeting included fellow senators Daylin Leach, cosponsor of both bills, and Judy Schwank, sponsor of SB50 and cosponsor of SB3, as well as Lt. Gov. Mike Stack.

Folmer introduced the discussion on medical cannabis with a brief explanation of the bill.

“This is about alternative medication. This is about giving doctors, giving patients one more arrow in their quiver to fight whichever disease it is they may be fighting,” said the senator.

The bill, which was introduced last year as SB1182, has been reintroduced this year as SB3, which is an increase in priority; the bill is behind only the state budget and a pension reform bill.

SB3 currently has 26 cosponsors, including 12 Republicans and 14 Democrats, within the state Senate. It also, as Stack explained, has a fair amount of approval from the governor.

“Governor Wolf is on record already as saying that if a bill like this got to his desk, he would sign it,” said Stack.

Medical cannabis could be used for a variety of medical problems, including cancer, pain management and epilepsy, as Lolly Bentch Myers and Dana Ulrich, both mothers of young children suffering from epilepsy, spoke about.

Both mothers detailed their experiences with daughters who suffer from hundreds of seizures a day, both day and night. The children have been through numerous procedures and prescriptions, all of which have failed to control the epilepsy.

Medical cannabis would help control the seizures, as Myers evidenced from a story told to her by a family struggling with similar circumstances. The family was moved to illegally purchase and administer cannabis to their daughter. The move began effectively controlling, and eventually stopped, the seizures.

One problem with passing legislation is the stigma which surrounds cannabis, which is classified as a Schedule 1 drug.

“If this medicine was a derivative of any other plant, it would be in every CVS in the country,” said Leach.

If the proposed bill is passed, however, it would be important to “maintain openness of administrative form,” said Dr. Jahan Marcu, director of research and development at Green Standard Diagnostics.

On the subject of SB50 and industrial hemp, Schwank described the possibilities for test plots of industrial hemp throughout the state by private farmers, similar to the system recently adopted by Kentucky.

This would be a way to boost agriculture in the state through a return to the past.

Les Stark, the author of “Hempstone Heritage,” spoke about the storied history of the hemp industry in Pennsylvania. It was once a staple crop within the state and advocated by William Penn and early state governments. Hemp helped farmers stay “largely self-sufficient in all areas of life,” Stark said.

The original township of Hempfield, in Lancaster County, takes its name from the crop, which the author said “was an epiphany.”

“I wondered, if this was true, why had I not even heard of this? Why had I not even heard the word hemp enough to even take notice of the word?” said Stark.

The state’s hemp was considered the “finest in the world,” he explained, and was used for countless purposes such as paper, sails, rigging, clothing, flammable oil and feed.

“If our ancestors, in an intelligent, civilized yet more primitive condition, could raise this tremendous industry from the soil of the fields they toiled with horse and plow, then think of the possibilities now,” he said.

Erica McBride of the Keystone Cannabis Coalition, spoke next, speaking further of the modern possibilities for hemp and the difference between hemp and marijuana.

“The reality is that hemp is grown and harvested quite differently than marijuana,” said McBride, who noted that “hemp fields would actually be a deterrent to marijuana growth.”

This is because of a cross-pollination that would occur, affecting the marijuana plants. Industrial hemp growers would also be licensed.

McBride also noted hemp’s use as a rotation and cover crop, and its ability to restore soil health and remove pollutants while also acting as a cash crop.

What this would mean for farmers and the state is not only cleaner land but one with more jobs, venture capitalism, and revenue, Stark argued.

“We will create jobs. We will help save the family farm, and we will put the hemp back in Hempfield,” said Stark.

“It’s time to stop talking about it and start bringing back the heritage of our past, and turning it into the hope of our future,” said McBride.

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Erica McBride’s Speech at LVC Town Hall

Posted by on Mar 14, 2015 in Blog


It’s an honor to be here and thank you Senator Folmer for hosting this educational forum. When it comes to both SB3 and SB50 education is definitely the key. As this education pertains to industrial hemp we’ve found that there are people who are not aware that there is a distinct difference between hemp and marijuana and aren’t aware of all of the many benefits this wonderful plant has to offer. Once the facts are revealed most become very enthusiastic about the great potential of this vital crop.

untitledThe one argument we do hear somewhat frequently is that law enforcement would not be able to tell the difference between hemp and marijuana and that hemp fields would be used to hide marijuana plants. While on the surface this seemingly is a legitimate concern – it really is only myth.

The reality is that hemp is grown and harvested quite differently from marijuana.

Hemp grown for fiber is planted in narrow row spacing and branching is discouraged. The plants are not allowed to flower. The stems are kept small by the high density and foliage develops only on the top. Hemp plants crowd out weeds and other plants.

Marijuana plants, on the other hand, are spaced widely to encourage branching and the flower is the harvested product.

Where hemp seed is the harvested product, whether as reproduction seed or oilseed, purity is critical to marketability. The mixing of off-type genotypes would be diligently avoided.

Producers of sweet corn go to great lengths to isolate their crops from the pollen of field corn. The same applies to hemp and marijuana. People who grow strains of Cannabis for smoking try to avoid pollination of the flowers. The superior quality material is obtained from seedless plants.

In that light hemp fields would in fact be a deterrent to marijuana growers. A strong case can be made that the best way to deter marijuana grown outdoors would be to grow hemp. An experiment in Russia found that hemp pollen could travel up to 7 miles. This would mean that a hemp field would create a zone with a 7 mile radius within which no illegal marijuana grower would want to establish a crop.

There is another reason that marijuana growers would be unlikely to plant their crop in a hemp field. We would be operating under a permit system whereby the farmer must let the local police know which fields hemp is being planted in. The farmer certainly wouldn’t want to jeopardize their crop or their license. Would a marijuana grower decide to plant their crop in an area high on the police radar screen and subject to monitoring without notice? I seriously doubt it, and if they would be that dumb, oh well, they deserve to get caught. Fear of that unlikely scenario certainly doesn’t justify preventing the introduction of a new crop that holds so much promise for farmers and for Pennsylvania as a whole.

Now lets talk about some of this promise. It’s pretty widely known how nutritious hemp seeds are and its uses for food, fuel, fiber and paper so I’d like to take a few minutes to talk about some of its lesser known uses.

imagesXJ2439PMContamination of land and water is a continuing problem for both our environment and economy. Here in Pennsylvania we have three separate programs within the DEP for dealing with abandoned coal mines, land recycling and brownfields. Hemp can be very useful in dealing with contaminated and otherwise useless land. Conventional practices in remediation usually involve expensive processes such as land filling or incineration of soil. Phytoremediation uses plants to accumulate certain metals in plant biomass to accelerate contaminant breakdown.

Hemp, while not known to be the ‘best’ crop for phytoremediation, does hold a distinct advantage over other crops used for this purpose. Most crops grown on contaminated soil have no value outside the remediation itself, where as the stalks and seeds of hemp are still a useful crop which can be used for building products, paper, insulation, biofuel and other non-food grade products.

Hemp has also been recognized as having a high capacity for phytostabilisation which uses plant structure to stabilize contaminants preventing them from entering the food chain or groundwater.

Pennsylvania’s large amount of land in need of reclamation is a perfect platform to conduct hemp research while improving the soil, environment and economy by returning many acres of land to productive use.

Another use for hemp is as a rotation and cover crop. Industrial hemp is an excellent rotation crop for traditional crops, because it suppresses weeds and decreases outbreaks of insects and diseases. It aids in erosion control and requires little to no irrigation or pesticides. Hemp also rebuilds and conditions soil by replacing organic matter, replenishing nitrogen and providing aeration through its extensive root system.

We are very excited and encouraged to finally have hemp legislation introduced in the senate. We also look forward to having a house bill in the very near future. We hope the legislation will be consistent with SB 50 by allowing individual farmers to participate in the research programs. Other states are doing it.

gw_circular_full_color-transparentbgKentucky has taken the lead and set the precedence. The Kentucky Fiber Project and Growing Warriors Project are beautiful examples of the way hemp research can be conducted while at the same time helping our veterans and building communities. As SB50 would also allow, Kentucky simply aligned their state legislation and regulations with federal guidelines by authorizing third-parties such as farmers to participate in pilot programs under the authority of the state department of agriculture. This is the best route because without fiscal appropriations, colleges may not have available funding to engage in the study of industrial hemp or its markets. To date, there is no federal funding for hemp research offered to participating colleges or universities. That is why it is essential we allow citizens to become licensed participants.

Allowing third-party licensees will also benefit the state by attracting venture capitalist participation in the development of this new industry.

It is important to understand that our ultimate goal here IS to create an entire industry. An industry that will ultimately benefit every single Pennsylvanian

We often get asked “What can I do to help’? The single most important thing is to contact your legislators. Make them aware of the bill, its benefits and the fact that we already have some business here in PA ready to go – ready to produce hemp seed oil, ready to produce food and other products. This part of the industry will be the easiest to capitalize on as the infrastructure is already in place. Fiber processing, paper making, bio-fuel creation and bio-plastics will take time and research but have great potential for large returns on investment as well as job creation. The economic and environmental benefits could be staggering. So if you work for any company that has any potential of converting some or all of its operations to incorporate hemp, talk to them about it now. Get those wheels turning.

To ensure the reintroduction of hemp to Pennsylvania is successful we also need to create and support the market. While most of us are not farmers and do not own businesses that could benefit from hemp, never underestimate the power of the consumer. We all need to support businesses that support hemp. Visit your local health food store and buy hemp products. Purchase beauty products made with hemp oil. Consider hemp clothing. Any time you do this you are not only supporting hemp, but also in most cases, local small businesses as well.

images5R5WX6CYDo you have a home project you are working on? Ask your builder or contractor if they offer or can use hemp building products. The next time you walk into a Lowes or Home Depot, find the manager and ask them, ‘Hey, where is the hemp insulation? Where is the hemp fiber board and hempcrete?” While they obviously do not currently offer it, hearing interest from their customers goes a long way and is very important.

In other words, just talk about it to everyone you can. Some will be persuaded by the ‘green’ aspect and environmental benefits alone. Others will be driven by the bottom line. But no matter which aspect is more appealing to them there are strong arguments of how utilizing hemp will benefit them.

We have such a long, rich history of utilizing this amazing plant here in Pennsylvania. We anxiously await its return. Working together we can ensure hemp will prosper and help promote the health of our land as well as create a better more prosperous Pennsylvania for all.

Thomas Jefferson said, “I was bold in the pursuit of knowledge, never fearing to follow truth and reason to whatever results they led, and bearding every authority which stood in their way.”

Industrial hemp provides the perfect opportunity to put this statement into action. It provides a perfect opportunity to be both bold and responsible. We hear an awful lot of talk about the need for job creation, the need for alternative fuels and the need for sustainability. Hemp provides a clear path to all of those ends. It’s time to stop talking about it and start returning the heritage of our past and turning it into hope of the future.

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Les Stark’s Speech at LVC Town Hall

Posted by on Mar 14, 2015 in Blog



seedofpastThere is an inscription on the National Archives that reads, “The heritage of the past is the seed that brings forth the harvest of the future”. So it is that we look to our past and our rich traditions of history. Not to dwell nostalgically on the past, but to chart a more informed, purposeful course for the future based on a more firm foundation of knowledge with the combined wisdom of centuries of experience to guide us.

On Sept. 2, 1749, my great-great-great-great-great-great grandfather, Johann Leonard German arrived in this country with his brother Adam German. He came at the age of 25 and died in 1813 at the age of 88 years old.

They had left Odenwald, Germany together and traveled up the Rhine River to the Port of Rotterdam where they set sail for the new world. Shortly after arrival in Philadelphia they moved into large farms in Lancaster County’s Earl Twp. in the approximate area we now call Red Run. They were joined by other members of the German family, had large families, lived long lives and fathered sons who served in local militia units during the Revolutionary War.

For the better part of 200 years, virtually all of my ancestors farmed the fertile soils of Lancaster County. As was common of this area’s early settlers they were largely self-sufficient in almost all areas of life. They grew the common crops of their time – corn, wheat, rye, oats, potatoes, hay, flax and hemp. They raised bees and made honey. They also raised cows, pigs, geese and sheep. They did their own carpentry work and made everything they could with their bare hands. Even the clothes on their backs was made with the homespun hemp, flax and wool raised on their farms.

I took the name of my step father. The Starks came here in 1767 from Germany. They also grew hemp. My mother’s maiden name is Kilhefner and the Kilhefners also grew hemp in Lancaster County. On the maternal side all of my grandmothers to all of my grandfathers came from families that grew hemp. They lived in a time and place where everyone grew hemp for self-sustainability and for profit.

imagesIAPONYHRIn 1994 I read a book by Jack Herer called the Emperor Wears No Clothes. It was a fascinating book that detailed the history of hemp from it’s ancient beginnings in India, it’s spread through China and Europe, America and throughout the world.

In the beginning of the book it said that wherever there were major hemp producing regions there were towns named after hemp. It mentioned the original Hempfield Twp. In Lancaster County, Pa.

It was an epiphany! A light bulb went on over my head. I knew it must be true but there was a bit of doubt. I wondered, that if this was true, then why have I not ever heard of this? Why had I not even heard of hemp before enough to even take notice of the word?

I posited the theory that if hemp was once an important industry here then there must be evidence to back it up. So on March 3, 1997 I set out on an odyssey of discovery that continues to this day.

All I can say is WOW! In all honesty I did not expect the rabbit hole to go so deep. I didn’t expect the story to be of such epic and heroic proportions!

Who could number the fields of hemp in early Pennsylvania? Acres and acres of hemp, wherever you looked, in all directions, on every farm, from one end of the state to the other and in every corner.

The culture of hemp was nearly universal.

First grown in the vicinity of the Delaware by the Swedes in the 1650’s, William Penn recognized the enormous potential of this crop and founded Pennsylvania in 1681 specifically intending for the Commonwealth to produce hemp.

In 1683 one of the very first laws enacted by the General Assembly was An Act for the Encouragement of Raising Hemp. Two years later a law was proposed by Thomas Budd that compelled every farmer to plant one acre of flax and two acres of hemp. While it never became mandatory it was widely adopted and encouraged and in that same year Penn noted great quantities of hemp already being grown in his province and proposed that hemp would be among of the 4 staples of trade here.

By the 1690’s the hemp industry was already well established here, with ships being built, rope manufactures making rope, the manufacture of sail cloth extensively carrying on, and hemp hecklers and weavers and farmers in every early settlement growing the crop.

The first permanent settlers of what is now Lancaster County started farming around the year of10625122_590263341096191_9086065072119710320_n 1710 and immediately planted hemp. In 1720, John Gardner erected the first documented hemp mill in the not yet formed territory of Lancaster at the mouth of the Chickies Creek, right above Columbia, just in time for the big push that came in the 1720’s where the General Assembly encouraged all Pennsylvania farmers to grow hemp, by granting them a series of ever increasing bounties paid to them for every pound of hemp they could produce fit for market.

The farmers of the new settlements responded to the calls for hemp so much so that when the new county of Lancaster was formed in 1729 it included the original Hempfield Township named for the “Vast Quantities of hemp raised there”.

At that time, Lebanon and Dauphin counties were both a part of Lancaster County. ALL of the early settlements in this area grew hemp, including Annville.

John Gardner’s hemp mill may have been the first hemp mill here that we know about but it surely was not the last. I dug through the old tax records and was able to document that between the years of 1720-1870 there were over 100 water-powered mills for processing hemp fiber in Lancaster County alone with dozens of more hemp mills in the surrounding counties, hundreds throughout the state.

That hemp fiber was used for everything from coarse cloth to fine linen. It was used for rugs, immense quantities of rugs were manufactured in Pennsylvania factories, it covered a vast fleet of Conestoga wagons, it made grain bags for millions of bushels of wheat, thousands of miles of rope and twine for canal and farm use, sail cloth for vast fleets of ships, curtains in every home, as well as tablecloths, handkerchiefs, napkins, pillow cases, sheets, towels, bedding, trousers, belts, shirts, suspenders, shoes, hats, dresses and all sorts of fabrics. Indeed it was the number one fiber in Pennsylvania for homespun clothing

The Pennsylvania Dutch people were said to grow some of the best hemp in the world and make the finest hemp products.

When the old hemp clothing was worn out it was collected and recycled in the old paper mills, of which there were many. The paper mill in Ephrata owned by the Cloisters was the third in Pennsylvania and just the seventh in the country. The Cloisters printed the famous 1,000 plus page book called the Martyr’s Mirror and many other books on hemp paper.

A byproduct of the enormous hemp crop grown for fiber was many tons of excess hemp seed. There were just as many mills for expressing oil from the hemp seed (as well as flax seed) as there were mills for processing the fiber. That hempseed oil was used in paints, varnishes, lacquers, lubricants, soap, lamp oil and printer’s ink. The remaining seed cake was fed to the livestock.

shipIn Philadelphia there existed a large ship building industry. Each ship took up to 60 tons of hemp fiber for all the big thick anchor cables, all the rope rigging and canvass sails – all that was made out of hemp – and all that hemp had to be replaced every few years so that ensured an enormous and insatiable demand for hemp from the interior of Pennsylvania.

Hemp was grown in great abundance in the Lebanon Valley for more than a century after it’s founding. Alexander Schaefer, the founder of Schaeferstown grew hemp on his farm. An old hemp mill was located not far from there and today a hemp millstone from the old mill still stands guard in a nearby yard, not far from the field it was taken from.

There was another hemp mill in the area of Millbach and in the front yard, nearly half sunken into the soil is the hempstone that once did duty in the mill. In fact, I have found 30 of these hempstones in all so far in museums and private collections. The evidence was all around us for a century yet no one saw it and it the story was forgotten, faded into the misty memory of time.

I could tell you so much more. Like how George Washington visited a hemp mill in Paradise in 1794. Or how James Buchanan fought hard for the hemp farmers of Lancaster County and ordered the secretary of the Navy to rig a half a warship with Lancaster grown hemp canvass and ropes and half with Russian hemp and how our hemp was considered the best in the world. I could go on and on. There’s so much there.

But I will add, if our ancestors in an intelligent, civilized but more primitive condition could raise this tremendous industry from the soil of the fields they toiled with horse and plough, then think of the possibilities NOW! The possibilities for jobs, for agriculture, for the environment.

It would be a shame and a cruel ironic twist of history if the former hemp producing strongholds in the state of Pennsylvania opposed hemp farming. Of course, that is not the case. Our farmers are ready to go.

We intend to bring hemp back to fertile soils of Pennsylvania. We will create jobs. We will help save the family farm. And we will put the Hemp back in Hempfield.

I fully and wholeheartedly endorse and support Senate Bill 50 (as well as SB 3) and I hope you all do as well and join us in getting these bills passed.

Thank you

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Posted by on Mar 1, 2015 in Blog

images9OD9Q620Brian N. grew up in a small town in York County, PA. He joined the Army reserves at 17 years old which kept him out of the Cannabis Scene. He felt this was a good thing as it kept him from getting into trouble with law enforcement.

Brian later accepted a position through the Army. This would move him and his family to Rhode Island. Rhode Island is one of 23 states that have medical cannabis. Moving there opened his eyes and heart to how the use of medical cannabis can help a wide variety of ailments. He was motivated to start learning everything possible about its many benefits. He became a licensed caregiver for a man with Crohn’s Disease.

imagesCrohn’s disease is one of many conditions where cannabis therapy has resulted in many success stories. Timna Naftali, MD, Specialist in Gastroenterology at Meir Hospital and Kupat Holim Clinic (Israel), et al., stated the following in their Oct. 2013 study titled “Cannabis Induces a Clinical Response in Patients with Crohn’s Disease: A Prospective Placebo-Controlled Study,” published in Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology:

“BACKGROUND & AIMS: […]We performed a prospective trial to determine whether cannabis can induce remission in patients with Crohn’s disease.

METHODS: We studied 21 patients… with Crohn’s Disease Activity Index (CDAI) scores greater than 200 who did not respond to therapy with steroids, immunomodulators, or anti-tumor necrosis factor-alpha agents. Patients were assigned randomly to groups given cannabis, twice daily, in the form of cigarettes containing 115 mg of delta 9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) or placebo containing cannabis flowers from which the THC had been extracted. Disease activity and laboratory tests were assessed during 8 weeks of treatment and 2 weeks thereafter.

RESULTS: Complete remission… was achieved by 5 of 11 subjects in the cannabis group (45%) and 1 of 10 in the placebo group (10%). A clinical response… was observed in 10 of 11 subjects in the cannabis group (90%) and 4 of 10 in the placebo group (40%). Three patients in the cannabis group were weaned from steroid dependency. Subjects receiving cannabis reported improved appetite and sleep, with no significant side effects.

CONCLUSIONS: Although the primary end point of the study (induction of remission) was not achieved, a short course (8 weeks) of THC-rich cannabis produced significant clinical, steroid-free benefits to 10 of 11 patients with active Crohn’s disease, compared with placebo, without side effects.”

PTSD is another well-known condition that shows remarkable improvement with medical cannabis. Sadly, Brian could not become a patient because of the random drug test that the Army performed. Instead he was prescribed, as too many of our veterans are, numerous drugs to handle his Anxiety and PTSD that had terrible side effects and never truly worked. It is truly disheartening that these veterans that have served our county are denied this medicine and in turn a much better quality of life.

Recently Brian’s mother was diagnosed with Stage III Multiple Myeloma. This has hit him in the worst possible way. He want to be a part of the change needed so she can receive care without the fear of her liver quitting or being arrested. Yet despite serving his country for 13 years, despite visiting Iraq and Afghanistan. he has a fear the Army will find out about his advocacy and try to “muscle me out”. Although he still feels the need for some anonymity, he states. “The time is now for us to change these laws and provide care to those who need it, no matter the repercussions I will face.”

medical-marijuana-hearing1-620x264At last week’s hearing on SB3, PA’s mmj senate bill, Dr. Bruce MacLeod cited the oath physicians take to “do no harm” yet he failed to outline what this ‘harm’ may be from cannabis use. Senator Judy Schwank even specifically asked him if he’s been following the other states that have already passed mmj laws, asked him if the sky has fallen and if he knows something we don’t know about the potential ‘harm’ There was no answer. We ascertain that withholding this medicine IS doing harm. And it will be he who is ‘judged harshly by history’ by stubbornly refusing to look at the many peer reviewed studies available that clearly show cannabis as safe and effective medicine.

~Erica McBride
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