Pennsylvania Legalizes Medical Marijuana, Hopes To Curb Opioid Abuse
Pennsylvania joined 23 other states in legalizing medical marijuana. Lawmakers hope pot can help curtail the state's painkiller abuse problems.By Grant Suneson | April 17, 2016
On Sunday, Pennsylvania became the 24th state to legalize medical marijuana. Gov. Tom Wolf signed the bill into law after it breezed through the House and Senate last week.
Pennsylvanians will only be able to access the medicine if a doctor determines they suffer from a list of 17 conditions. Those conditions include cancer, post-traumatic stress disorder, intractable seizures and severe chronic pain.
Some lawmakers hope marijuana will become a popular alternative to opioid painkillers to treat chronic pain. Opioid abuse is a big problem in the Keystone State. Pennsylvania had the ninth-highest rate of fatal drug overdoses in the U.S. in 2014.