Just couple more points. As opposed to what Mr. Owens said, Marinol is NOT Medicinal Cannabis. Marinol is a synthetic THC "analogue", whereas Cannabis plant has over 70 active compounds interacting with one another and together comprising that which actually constitutes what we call Medicinal Cannabis. In addition, Cannabis use suppresses violent behavior, and this is a very important fact that should not be overlooked. As Substance Abuse: A Comprehensive Textbook, 4-th Edition indicates on page 267, by inducing a calm, relaxed state, Cannabis is just not "conducive" to violence, as opposed to alcohol or hard drugs, and only the "unsophisticated" think otherwise. As Dr. David Bearman observed during a recent scientific Conference in L.A., Cannabis was considered "medicine" for at least 5000 years, and the only time that it was not considered medicine was between 1942, when it was removed from the US Pharmacopoea, and 1996 when California voters approved the re-Legalization of this valuable remedy as a viable therapeutic option.
All the polls consistently show that even more than 80% of the electorate (at least in Phila. area) support Medicinal Cannabis legalization. In addition to helping in a wide variety of medical conditions, Medicinal Cannabis is much safer than many commonly used dangerous and physically addictive prescription drugs. It is prescription drugs such as opiates and benzodiazepines that we should worry about the most, not Medicinal Cannabis. I worked with opiate and "benzo" addicts for years, and these drugs to have serious addiction liability and overdose potential as opposed to Medicinal Cannabis that is not physically addictive and does not have one single case of a fatal overdose.
Washington DC, which is a Federal Territory was just allowed by Congress to keep its own Medicinal Cannabis law, and even VA Administration now relaxed its rules with regard to medicinal Cannabis. Both the Americal Medical Association and the Institute of Medicine are in favor of Medicinal Cannabis, and Canadian Government even pays for this natural remedy for their Veterans. The so-called "gateway" drug theory has by now been completely discredited by the science of addiction medicine, so as deeply as I sympathize with Mr. Owens about his daughter's death from an overdose, I must say that Cannabis had nothing to do with it, even if she used it prior to dangerous drug(s) that caused her overdose death. Recent addiction medicine research even shows that Cannabis may actually serve as an "exit" substance and can help keep alcoholics and hard drug users off alcohol and hard drugs. Let's side with the science and Reason, instead of ignorance and fear, and Legalize the Medicinal Cannabis in the State of PA, where 80%+ of the electorate is in favor of using this very valuable natural remedy, that will make the drug abuse problem BETTER and not worse!