Pennsylvania launches medical marijuana program

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Pennsylvania Governor Signs Bill Legalizing Medical Marijuana



After signing a series of LGBT non-discrimination orders earlier this month, Pennsylvania governor Tom Wolf today signed a bill that legalizes medical marijuana in the state of Pennsylvania. The state is the 24th to enact a legal medical marijuana program, and although it could take regulators up to two years to draft rules for retailers, a provision in the bill lets parents administer medical marijuana to their kids immediately. As Democratic Senator Daylin Leach, who co-sponsored the bill, told the Associated Press, "Marijuana is medicine, and it's coming to Pennsylvania."

Like New Yorkers, residents of Pennsylvania will need a prescription to obtain medical marijuana, and they're prohibited from smoking or growing it. They can, however, take it in pill, oil, vapor, ointment, or liquid form. The bill also puts a system in place for tracking marijuana plants and certifying physicians, growers, and dispensaries.

Although medical marijuana is legal in many east- and west-coast states, most central and southern states have yet to pass bills enacting their own programs. Wolf said his state's program was established in response to "a real human need." He went on, "When you have people who represent a cause as eloquently and in as heartfelt a way as the advocates for this have done, it shows that we can actually get something done that means something."

RELATED GALLERY: See photos of marijuana clubs sprouting up in Uruguay

13 PHOTOS
Marijuana Clubs Sprouting up in Uruguay
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Pennsylvania launches medical marijuana program
In this May 14, 2015 photo, Joaquin Fonseca, president of the Club Canabico Sativa, left center, and Juan Vaz, a technical advisor, pose in a controlled temperature room, overflowing with with flowering marijuana plants at the Club Canabico Sativa, a marijuana club in Montevideo, Uruguay. Joining Canabico Sativa requires a $400 enrollment fee and then monthly payments of $92. Much of that goes to maintaining the equipment needed to grow top quality weed. (AP Photo/Matilde Campodonico)
In this May 25, 2015 photo, Martin, a member of the Manga Rosa Social Club, a marijuana club, smokes a joint in the garden where marijuana plants are cultivated in Montevideo, Uruguay. The clubs, which are sprouting up around Montevideo, are essentially giant greenhouses where members can grow plants to their liking and, of course, smoke a joint or two to test a harvest. (AP Photo/Matilde Campodonico)
In this May 25, 2015 photo, flowering marijuana plant is seen unders a rope with clothes in the garden of the Manga Rosa Social Club, a marijuana club with 15 members in Montevideo, Uruguay. Under the new regulations it'€™s illegal to be a club member and home grower at the same time or join more than one club. (AP Photo/Matilde Campodonico)
In this May 14, 2015 photo, Laura Blanco trims a marijuana plant inside a greenhouse on the roof of the Club Canabico Sativa, a marijuana club in Montevideo, Uruguay. Joaquin Fonseca, president of Canabico Sativa, said after each harvest members vote on which plant produced the best buds. (AP Photo/Matilde Campodonico)
In this May 25, 2015 photo, marijuana buds hang to dry from a rope, with a map of the city of Montevideo in stuck to the wall, at the Manga Rosa Social Club, in Montevideo, Uruguay. Marijuana clubs undertake production and distribution between their members and became legal in Uruguay since 2013. Clubs can have between 15 and 45 members and grow up to 99 marijuana plants with flowers. (AP Photo/Matilde Campodonico)
In this May 14, 2015 photo, Laura Blanco, trims a marijuana plant in a greenhouse at the Club Canabico Sativa, a marijuana club in Montevideo, Uruguay. The club has dehumidifiers, fans, air conditioning units and carbon filters, all to nurture every step of the plants'€™ development. (AP Photo/Matilde Campodonico)
In this May 14, 2015 photo, marijuana buds hang from a line at the Club Canabico Sativa, a marijuana club in Montevideo, Uruguay. "€œToday, we have to wet the palates of club members," said Juan Vaz, the technical adviser of Club Canabico Sativa, in Montevideo. (AP Photo/Matilde Campodonico)
In this May 14, 2015 photo, Joaquin Fonseca, right, president of the Club Canabico Sativa, fills a receipt and receives payment from a member of the club in Montevideo, Uruguay. Joining Canabico Sativa requires a $400 enrollment fee and then monthly payments of $92. Also according to the new legistlation it's illegal to be a club member and home grower at the same time or join more than one club. (AP Photo/Matilde Campodonico)
In this May 25, 2015 photo, a tire is used as a vessel for growing plants, including marijuana, in the Manga Rosa Social Club garden, in Montevideo, Uruguay. While the new law has brought many marijuana smokers out in the open, the clubs do have several strict regulations. (AP Photo/Matilde Campodonico)
This May 14, 2015 photo shows a 10-gram bag of the Amnesia marijuana variety ready for distribution at the Club Canabico Sativa, a marijuana club in Montevideo, Uruguay. Uruguay's Congress legalized the drug in 2013, and over the last year has steadily implemented various aspects of the law. (AP Photo/Matilde Campodonico)
In this May 31, 2015 photo, a man, left, lights a marijuana joint in Montevideo, Uruguay. Uruguay's Congress legalized the drug in 2013, and over the last year has steadily implemented various aspects of the law. (AP Photo/Matilde Campodonico)
In this May 25, 2015 photo, Alvaro Calistro, president of the Manga Rosa Social Club, smokes a joint in the living room of his house where his has a marijuana club in Montevideo, Uruguay. The clubs, which are sprouting up around Montevideo, are essentially giant greenhouses where members can grow plants to their liking and, of course, smoke a joint or two to test a harvest. (AP Photo/Matilde Campodonico)
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