Medical marijuana advocates push for vote


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HARRISBURG — The Pennsylvania state Senate is unlikely to act on medical marijuana legislation before the fall, to the disappointment of about two dozen mothers, grandmothers, nurses and small children who went to the Capitol to press for its passage.

Dana Ulrich of Lancaster County said July 9 that she couldn't understand why senators won't act sooner when lives are at stake.

Ulrich's 6-year-old daughter Lorelei suffers from severe seizures and she and other advocates believe marijuana oil extracts can save the lives of their seizure-wracked children while helping treat other ailments.

The bill is in the Appropriations Committee and Chairman Jake Corman says his staff didn't have time to analyze it before senators take their traditional summer break from Harrisburg.

It lacks support from Gov. Tom Corbett and House Republican majority leaders.

Meanwhile, across the Delaware River, New York has become the 23rd state in the country to authorize marijuana as a medical treatment — though the state will have one of the more restrictive programs in the U.S.

Under legislation signed into law on July 5 by Gov. Andrew Cuomo, patients with one of 10 different diseases including AIDS, cancer and epilepsy will be able to obtain non-smokeable versions of the drug. Instead, the drug must be ingested or administered through a vaporizer or oil base.

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