No matter how far legal marijuana progresses there will always be arguments about the pros and cons of legal and recreational use.

In the last of three state legislative public hearings on the use of medical marijuana that were held this past Wednesday at the Allegheny County Courthouse, opposing arguments were enough to keep Pennsylvania from joining the movement of states that have legalized cannabis. One common thing that was not said when those who testified before the House Health and Judiciary committees was that there hasn’t been substantial research further looking into marijuana’s efficacy vs any negative results to better comprehend the impact on society.

That is a crucial factor with kids, said Deborah Moss who is a pediatrician at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC. Mrs. Moss stated that while many positive reports of benefits exist for adults who use cannabis for different medical issues “we just don’t know the efficacy for children.”

Further more she added that a child’s brain is still growing and developing “and we don’t know how this will affect, good or bad, the developing brain.”

Mrs. Moss says the probability that medical cannabis could help different children who suffer from “chronic, life-limiting debilitating conditions” is the reason as to why the association backs the research and the development of pharmaceutical CBD’s but currently has no intentions of legalization at the moment.

A physician out of Denver, Alan Shackelford who testified before the committee using Skype, was straightforward with backing medical marijuana. He used his prior experience from treating patients with marijuana as a factor to make his support known.

“In my experience, it’s highly effective in treating seizures, severe pain, and nausea — and those benefits should not only accrue to those in Colorado and 22 other states [where it is legal] but, in my opinion, it should be available in all states,” Dr. Shackelford stated. “Pennsylvania should be one of the states with this option.”

Only time will tell if Pennsylvania will become another state to join the already 23 states plus Washington, D.C. that allow some form of a medical marijuana program.


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