June 30, 2009 – On July 11th 2009, PA4MMJ Pennsylvanians for Medical Marijuana will be participating in awareness events in Pittsburgh, Harrisburg and Philadelphia. For local directions, times and contact telephone numbers please click on the links at the bottom of this article.
These simultaneous candlelight vigils for medical marijuana access in Pennsylvania will remember those victims of Prohibition who have died waiting for legal cannabis access. Advocates will show support for HB 1393, active legislation to bring a modern medical marijuana program to the Commonwealth.
Medical patients who would qualify under the bill are strongly encouraged to attend, if physically able. Supporters are encouraged to remember friends or family with photos and signs. Supporting groups include medical-freedom.com, pa4mmj.org, phillynorml.org, medicalmovement.com and wonpr.org
On April 29, 2009 State Representative Mark B. Cohen of Philadelphia introduced HB1393, a bill that would create a medical marijuana program for Pennsylvania. The bill has been referred to the House Health and Human Services Committee with public hearings expected this summer. HB 1393 includes provision to tax the sale of medical cannabis through Compassion Centers.
PA4MMJ from Philadelphia holds the vigil on July 11th to mark the passing of Barry Busch, a local activist who passed away from HIV/AIDS complications in 2007. Barry inspired the local medical marijuana effort. William Haney who helped organize vigils with Barry when he was alive said, “The candlelight vigil commemorates deceased and living patients, diagnosed with one of the conditions for which cannabis is a medically recognized palliative.”
This year the vigil has added meaning as active supporters will gather across the commonwealth for the legal medical marijuana access that could be afforded by HB 1393.