Bartolotta Medical Patient Protection Bill Passes Senate Committee

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HARRISBURG — The Senate Transportation Committee has unanimously passed Senate Bill 167, legislation sponsored by Sen. Camera Bartolotta (R-46), to protect Pennsylvanians with chronic illnesses from an inconsistency in the law of the state on driving under the influence (DUI) which makes them vulnerable. to a wrongful criminal conviction.

Since the passage of Law 16 of 2016, more than 700,000 patients have enrolled and qualified for the state’s medical marijuana program. Nearly 500,000 patients benefit from this non-toxic and natural treatment alternative.

In the law, there were protections for employees, professional license holders and those involved in custody disputes. However, the legislation did not address Pennsylvania’s zero tolerance DUI controlled substance laws. Currently, medical cannabis patients can be arrested, prosecuted and convicted even if they are not intoxicated.

Pennsylvania is one of the few states with zero tolerance for controlled substances. Thirty-three states, including those without legal access to cannabis, require proof of impairment.

Senate Bill 167 would treat the medical cannabis patient the same as a patient using a prescription narcotic by requiring proof that the motorist is intoxicated and incapable of operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated. completely safe.

“Although the patient responsible for medical cannabis never drives impaired, the risk of arrest and prosecution for zero-tolerance impaired driving is one of the most serious issues facing the cannabis community. Medical School of Pennsylvania,” Bartolotta said. “My bill will protect this community without sacrificing the safety of our roads.

At a Senate Transportation Committee meeting last September, Pennsylvania State Police officials said the bill would not negatively impact their mission to guard highways and lanes. Commonwealth high schools exempt from impaired driving.

The bill is now sent back to the full Senate for consideration.

CONTACT: Colleen Greer, 717-787-1463

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