History and Mission
- To Educate the public about Medical Marijuana
- To stop the arrest of seriously ill residents who use marijuana as a therapy
- To offer information and resources to patients
- To ensure the passage of the Raymond P. Shafer Compassionate Use Medical Marijuana Act (SB 1003), introduced by Sen. Daylin Leach
Board of Directors
- Derek Rosenzweig: PhillyNORML Secretary, Web Programmer
Mr. Rosenzweig co-founded (unofficially) Pennsylvanians for Medical Marijuana with Barry Busch in 2005. Mr. Rosenzweig also serves as the Secretary of the board of PhillyNORML. Since Barry Busch's passing on July 11, 2007, Derek has worked to bring patients and advocates together in order to push for medical marijuana legislation in Pennsylvania. Mr. Rosenzweig serves as webmaster and organization coordinator along with Chris Goldstein.
- Ed Pane: Certified Addictions Counselor
This seasoned professional has worked his entire lifetime in the field of addiction treatment. Mr. Pane believes that medical marijuana is an important therapy that should be available for doctors to recommend to Pennsylvanians. He can also speak to the myths associated with marijuana and discuss the scientific facts surrounding cannabis as a treatment for debilitating medical conditions. In 33 years of addiction counseling, Ed has seen thousands of individuals though addiction recovery and challenges the assertion that allowing sick people to have marijuana will have any impact on general use of marijuana.
[ Relative Addictive Properties | Death by Medicine | Medicinal Marijuana Bibliography | New Jersey Written Testimony | NEJM Marijuana and Federal Foolishness ]
- Patrick Nightingale, Esq.: Criminal Defense Attorney, Executive Director of Pittsburgh NORML
A Pittsburgh-based criminal defense lawyer and NORML Legal Committee member who has seen dozens of marijuana cases in his practice. Mr. Nightingale can speak to the specifics of current prohibition sanctions and how they affect medical patients, even patients with legitimate prescriptions from other states. Mr. Nightingale also serves as the Executive Director of Pittsburgh NORML
- Chris Goldstein: PA4MMJ Spokesperson and Radio Personality
Goldstein is a public radio program producer and writer who coordinates the efforts of PA4MMJ along with Derek Rosenweig. Chris appeared in press conferences in Harrisburg when HB1393 and SB1350 were introduced. He has covered the topic of medical marijuana for over 10 years in radio and has interviewed hundreds of doctors, scientists and politicians about the issue. He also blogs about the local medical marijuana effort at http://www.opensalon.com/blog/freedomisgreen.
- Jahan Marcu: Cannabinoid Researcher, Vice-Chair of the Americans for Safe Access Medical and Scientific Advisory Board
Mr. Marcu is currently investigating the pharmacology of cannabinoid receptors at Temple University School of Medicine. Before joining the PhD program at Temple, Mr. Marcu worked at the California Pacific Medical Center Research Institute studying the anti-cancer properties of compounds from the cannabis plant. The findings were published in the Journal of Molecular Cancer Therapeutics.
He effectively translates complex scientific concepts to a lay audience and is developing international networks of key cannabis researchers. He has served as a volunteer for Americans for Safe Access (ASA) since 2003 and is currently the vice-chair the ASA Medical and Scientific Advisory Board. He has lectured on the subject of cannabinoids at Universities, medical cannabis cooperatives, and libraries. At San Francisco State University, he investigated the therapeutic applicability of whole plant cannabinoid ratios, correlating these ratios to effects reported by medical cannabis patients and in clinical trials. He completed his Bachelor of Science in Molecular and Cellular Biology at San Francisco State University. His blog, "Cannabination" can be found at http://cannabination.com/, and he is frequently a contributor to "West Coast Leaf" newspaper.
Barry Busch and those in support of bringing compassionate cannabis access to the Keystone State in 2006 formed Pennsylvanians for Medical Marijuana. In 2007 Barry passed away from complication of HIV/AIDS but his vision for seriously ill residents to use therapeutic marijuana has lived on.
In 2008, members of PhillyNORML picked up the cause of medical access and began getting active. In March 2009 State Representative Mark B Cohen attended a medical marijuana information seminar in Collingswood New Jersey. Derek Rosenzweig and Chris Goldstein represented PA4MMJ at that event. Rep. Cohen asked serious questions about medical marijuana and the mechanics of how it worked in other states.
On April 29, 2009 Rep. Cohen and six co-sponsors introduced the first ever bill, HB1393, to authorize a state program for therapeutic cannabis in the Commonwealth.
On May 4, 2010 Sen. Leach introduced SB 1350 in the Senate.
The most recent Franklin and Marshall college poll (PDF) shows 80% of the people of Pennsylvania support medical marijuana.
The following states have passed legislation or ballot initiatives of varying degrees, from simple medical necessity decriminalization to actual distribution with state oversight, of medical marijuana. They are: Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Maine, Maryland, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont and Washington. PA4MMJ is working directly on the effort to allow for legal protections and safe cannabis access offered already in other states.
While the science and medical literature strongly support this choice for doctors and patients we at PA4MMJ also feel it is our civil and patriotic duty to champion this cause. Pennsylvania was the ground from which our Founding Fathers took the path to our modern nation. Philadelphia and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, with it's great diversity and ultimate contribution to every concept of Freedom we enjoy as Americans, should not sit by and not allow medical marijuana for our own citizens.
This humanitarian and social justice issue comes down to three (3) things for us:
- States Rights
- Privacy - Freedom of Treatment
We Need You - Where you come in
We, Pennsylvanians for Medical Marijuana, a group of people like yourself, need your help to get this legislation passed.
PLEASE contact your legislators right away! Tell them you want their support for the Compassionate Use Act and medical marijuana!
Write emails and letters to every elected offical in your area. Write letters to the editor of your area newspapers and call talk radio shows. Help to educate the public as to the reasons Pennsylvania must pass medical marijuana legislation. We need you to tell your friends and get them involved. It's only with your help that we can succeed so please get involved today in any way you can.
Joining PA4MMJ you can volunteer at events, hold living room meetings and library seminars or help us with tehcnical and office needs for our group.
We strive to support our volunteers with the best information and printed materials to send to officals and hand out to the public. For best results we do need to be in touch with you on a personal level, so please fill out the volunteer signup form to the left, or call and write our campaign coordinators Derek Rosenzweig at 215-499-5354, and Chris Goldstein.