Aug 19 Public hearing for medical marijuana bill scheduled

The Pennsylvania House Health and Human Services Committee will hold a satellite hearing on medical marijuana in Pittsburgh, PA on August 19, 2010.

HHS Committee Chair Rep. Frank Oliver issued a memo yesterday:

Please be advised that on Thursday, August 19, 2010 at 3:00 p.m. in the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health at 130 Desoto Street, Room G-23, Pittsburgh, PA 15320, there will be a public hearing on House Bill 1393.

Representative Mark B. Cohen introduced HB1393 and the first public hearings took place in Harrisburg last December. Residents living with chronic medical conditions, doctors, medical professionals and attorneys testified in favor of the bill. Pennsylvanians for Medical Marijuana (PA4MMJ) is a statewide non-profit advocacy group promoting passage of the bill. Patrick Nightingale Esq., a criminal defense attorney in Pittsburgh, serves on the Board of Directors for PA4MMJ and coordinates efforts in Western Pennsylvania.

Nightingale commented on the memo, “We at Pittsburgh NORML and Pennsylvanians for Medical Marijuana are thrilled to learn of the upcoming hearing. We have heard from dozens of current medicinal patients or potential medicinal cannabis patients – veterans, retired school teachers, young people, grandparents, professionals and blue collar workers – all united by the belief that marijuana can provide relief for their medical conditions.”

Nightingale added, “We believe that passage of the Barry Busch Compassionate Use Act will greatly benefit the citizens of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania just as it benefits the citizens of 14 other states and the District of Columbia who’s legislatures have enacted medicinal marijuana laws.”

A Franklin & Marshall poll conducted recently shows that 80% of PA residents support the medical marijuana legislation.

The twenty-six-member House HHS committee includes HB 1393’s sponsor Rep. Cohen and co-sponsor Rep. Tony Payton Jr.

Senator Daylin Leach introduced the companion bill, SB 1350, earlier this year. Senate committee hearings are expected in the fall, and Senator Jim Ferlo of the Pittsburgh area recently co-sponsored the medical marijuana legislation.

Pennsylvanians for Medical Marijuana will be holding rally events, information seminars and fundraisers across the Commonwealth to raise awareness for HB 1393 and SB 1350.

PA4MMJ welcomes the opportunity to put legislators and the media in contact with local patients and cannabis experts.

CONTACT: Pittsburgh: Patrick Nightingale 412-225-7959, Philadelphia: Derek Rosenzweig 215-586-3483

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