Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

State Senate Weighs Medical Marijuana Lawmakers Hear Testimony on Use

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

State Senate Weighs Medical Marijuana Lawmakers Hear Testimony on Use

Article excerpt

HARRISBURG - Proponents of allowing medical marijuana use in Pennsylvania filled a Senate hearing room today, describing their hopes that components of the plant could help children with seizures and veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder.

Senators on the Law & Justice Committee heard from mothers who said their children have suffered not just from severe seizures but also from the medications prescribed as treatment. One mother urged legislators to put aside "preconceived notions" of cannabis.

Joe Mirt, a Pennsylvania National Guard combat veteran who lives in Carrick, described his attempts to cope with what he suspects to be post traumatic stress through alcohol and then through medications that were accompanied by serious side effects.

"I never thought about killing myself more than when I was on those pills that they were giving me to help what I was going through," he said.

Eventually, after an additional diagnosis of multiple sclerosis, he tried marijuana, which he said relieved his headaches, cleared his vision and allowed him to get out of bed for the first time in days.

Twenty states and the District of Columbia have permitted medical marijuana, while Colorado and Washington recently approved recreational use. …

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