Medical marijuana might soon be legal in Pennsylvania. But patients might not get to smoke it.

The Pennsylvania medical marijuana bill, approved by the Senate State Government Committee last week, would legalize cannabis for only 12 conditions, which include cancer, epilepsy, and HIV/AIDS. Disorders like anxiety and migraine are totally ignored by the bill, and if it passes, it would completely ban cultivation and smoking of cannabis.

State Senator Mike Folmer says that the reason why his bill’s so narrow is to allow kids with severe seizure disorders to access the medication that can change their lives — without opening up potential for abuse.

But the thing is, cannabis shows true therapeutic potential for almost everything under the sun (most recently, studies have pointed to the way it could aid diabetics with pain and even prevent insulin resistance in the first place). Your endocannabinoid system is involved in the regulation of everything from mood to memory. So why shouldn’t you be able to optimize the way your own body functions?

What’s even more insidious about Senate Bill 3 is the way it could come back to hurt patients who medicate “outside” the law. If they’re caught growing herb, it could spell prison for people who are only trying to help themselves.

Still, medical marijuana for PA is still a step forward. A shallow victory for 420 advocates, maybe, but it’s better than nothing.

[Photo: Flickr/jaypeg21]

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