John Hanger is no longer a candidate for governor, but lawmakers say his call for legalizing marijuana in Pennsylvania helped elevate public awareness about a bill to allow it for medical purposes.
The bill’s co-sponsor, Democratic Sen. Daylin Leach, says Hanger’s stance helped galvanize parents of children who would benefit from the medical legislation.
Leach and Republican Sen. Mike Folmer, the prime sponsor, are hoping the bill will pass both chambers in the weeks ahead.
The bill would allow doctors to prescribe marijuana for patients such as children with epilepsy and people with cancer undergoing chemotherapy. Twenty other states and the District of Columbia have passed similar laws.
Four of the five Democratic candidates for governor support the bill. Republican Gov. Tom Corbett says he would veto any such proposal.