An educational medical cannabis forum in Fairview Township appeared to draw more supporters than skeptics Thursday.
Some of the 35 people who attended the forum, hosted by state Rep. Mike Regan, R-Dillsburg, were frustrated that despite polls showing a vast majority of Pennsylvanians in favor of medical cannabis usage, the state House and Senate has yet to pass the matter.
"I think what Pennsylvania needs is a vote" said Chris Ferro, a Springettsbury Township attorney.
Ferro, who attended the forum with his wife, Angela, said their 12-year-old son, Michael, could benefit from medical marijuana.
Their son has Lennox-Gastaut Syndrome, a disorder that causes him to have seizures triggered by light. He is so sensitive that he has to wear goggles to go outside, Chris Ferro said.
Unknown: The Ferros said they don't know if medical cannabis would help Michael but that it could help others, including children.
State Sen. Mike Folmer, R-Lebanon County, the keynote speaker at the forum, is the author of a bill, Senate Bill 1182, that would legalize medical cannabis. He said the senate could vote on it when they return to Harrisburg in September.
Folmer said he knows there are skeptics out there who believe medical cannabis could lead to addiction. However, the bill allows for medical cannabis to be prescribed in the form of oils, pills and vapor rather than in a form that can be smoked.
Medical cannabis could also lower medical bills and provide positive results to those who take it, proponents said.
"It's about giving people the right to live," Folmer said. "This is about human lives."
A rally in support of the bill will be held on the steps of the Capitol Building in Harrisburg starting at 10 a.m. on Monday, Sept. 15, said Ron Hess, a Springettsbury Township supporter, adding he expects 600 people to attend.
— Reach Greg Gross at firstname.lastname@example.org.