Pennsylvania nurses join 20+ other state organizations for medical pot

news-marijuana-bill-2013-lgYou can’t stop the pot. Earlier this week, as Philadelphia City Councilman Jim Kenney floated legislation to end mandatory arrests for weed possession in the city, the Pennsylvania Nurses Association came out and endorsed a medical marijuana bill in the state Senate.

That bill, introduced by State Sens. Daylin Leach (D-MontCo) and Mike Folmer (R-Lancaster) would legalize a cannabis-based medicine which helps treat ailments like seizures and the side-effects of chemotherapy. It’s called the “Compassionate Use of Cannabis Act,” and there’s a hearing on the legislation next week.

PSNA is not the first nurses group to introduce medical marijuana. Far from it.

In fact, more than 20 nurses associations around the country have gone on record supporting medical marijuana, including the American Nurses Association and the National Nurses Society on Addictions.

“[Marijuana] has been shown to be effective in treating a wide range of symptoms in a variety of conditions,” wrote the Nurses Association in a 2008 position paper, which additionally noted they supported reclassifying marijuana’s Class I controlled substance status.

And then there are the state nurses associations! State Nurses Associations which have endorsed and put out statements of support for medical marijuana include:

Alaska

California

Colorado

Connecticut

Hawaii

Illinois

Minnesota

Mississippi

New Jersey

New Mexico

New York

North Carolina

Rhode Island

Texas

Virginia

Wisconsin

The PSNA are endorsing Leach’s and Folmer’s bill, specifically, but this is not their first dive into the world of medical pot. As Philadelphia Weekly previously reported, the state Nurses Association endorsed “rigorous research” on medical marijuana in September 2013.

“In order to weigh the true risks and benefits of medical marijuana, there must be a discussion and openness at the federal level regarding the conversion of marijuana from a Schedule I to Schedule II drug classification,” they said.

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