Qualifying Conditions for Medical Marijuana Use in Pennsylvania

Terri December Week 5 - IMG - Med Mar You may have heard that this past April, Pennsylvania became the 24th state in the United States to pass a law legalizing the use of Medical Marijuana. The program will be administered by the state’s Department of Health, and will became effective in May. It is expected to take several months before the program is fully up and running, but for those who have been using marijuana therapeutically, the law’s passage is welcome news, as once the program is fully in place they will no longer need to fear being accused of committing a drug crime. It is important to understand that there are very specific qualifying conditions for medical marijuana use in Pennsylvania, and that in order to stay out of trouble you need to follow the rules carefully. At Erik B. Jensen & Associates, we are happy to provide you with the information that you need, as well as to provide you with the legal representation that you need should you be accused of drug crimes between now and the time that the program is fully operational.

The rules regarding medical marijuana use in Pennsylvania are fairly straightforward. The law only applies to Pennsylvania state residents, who must be diagnosed with a qualifying condition by a state licensed doctor who has registered with the program and completed a four-hour course. Once the doctor has certified you as having a qualifying medical condition you will be able to apply for a medical marijuana identification card. This card will cost patients $50, though this may be waived for financial hardship.

The marijuana that will be available will not be in dry leaf or plant form. Instead it will be limited to “pills, oils, gels, creams, ointments, tinctures, liquid and non-whole plant forms for administration through vaporization.” The dispensaries that will have these products available will not be able to sell edibles containing medical cannabis, though patients can mix them into food or drink themselves, as well as use vaporization tools.

The conditions that qualify for medical cannabis are very specific, and include:

  • Terminal illnesses
  • Cancer
  • HIV/Aids
  • Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Epilepsy
  • Inflammatory bowel disease
  • Neuropathies
  • Huntington’s disease
  • Crohn’s disease
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder
  • Intractable seizures
  • Glaucoma
  • Autism
  • Sickle cell anemia
  • Damage to the nervous tissue of the spinal cord under certain specific conditions
  • Severe chronic or intractable pain of neuropathic origin or severe chronic or intractable pain in which conventional therapeutic intervention and opiate therapy is contraindicated or ineffective

It is very important to remember that the passage of this law maintains smoking marijuana as a drug crime. Those who have qualifying conditions also need to remember that they are only shielded from being arrested for a drug crime once they have been given an official medical cannabis registration card. Should you require legal representation after being charged with a drug crime, the attorneys at Erik B. Jensen & Associates can help. Contact us with any questions or to set up an appointment.