Government & Politics
4:11 pm
Fri January 10, 2014

Corbett Spokesman: Governor Has Not Changed Position on Medical Marijuana

Gov. Tom Corbett isn’t budging from his stance against legalizing medical marijuana.

The Harrisburg Patriot-News recently reported the governor had “softened” his position after a spokesman said Corbett would consider changing his mind if the Food and Drug Administration deemed the drug a valid medicine.

But the spokesman later said Corbett’s stance is unchanged.

Democratic state Sen. Daylin Leach of Montgomery County, who is running for Congress, said Corbett should know the ball isn’t in the FDA’s court on this issue.

"Former attorney general of Pennsylvania — he knows the law, or he should know the law," Leach said. "He knows the process. He knows that... we’re not going to be getting some letter from the FDA, that’s not how this works. What we have is a letter from the attorney general saying the states can do this.

Last August, the U.S. attorney general told state attorneys general that the federal government would decline to challenge states that legalize marijuana, provided such legalization is accompanied by a “strict regulatory scheme.”  

Leach is sponsoring a bill to legalize a kind of medical marijuana that could be a treatment for rare forms of epilepsy.

He said lawmakers shouldn’t wait for research showing the drug is effective, since it’s extraordinarily difficult to conduct because of marijuana’s legal classification as a dangerous drug.