Medical marijuana in Pa. heads toward another crucial vote

A bill to legalize medical marijuana in Pennsylvania is expected to face another vote next week. Supporters, who continue to sit on pins and needles, can only hope it’s the last one — or even that the end of their long fight is near.

As of Friday morning, state Senate leaders and state House leaders were still discussing possible changes to the legalization bill passed by the House two weeks ago, according to Fred Sembach, chef of staff for state Sen. Mike Folmer, R-Lebanon, a key figure in the legalization effort.

The discussions centered on whether the House is willing to pass a bill containing changes being mulled in the Senate.

That situation is making medical marijuana supporters nervous, and causing them to keep their fingers crossed.

The Senate overwhelming passed a legalization bill nearly a year ago. But then the bill ran into long delays in the House, and it wasn’t until about two week ago that the House approved the bill, also by a wide margin.

The House bill, while cheered by medical marijuana supporters, was substantially different from the Senate bill. That required it to go back to the Senate, setting the stage for yet another critical vote.

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