My former State Representative Montgomery County Republican Todd Stephens attached an amendment to Pennsylvania’s medical marijuana bill that would limit those seeking the green leafy plant’s healing powers for issues with post-traumatic stress syndrome – or properly known as PTSD – to combat veterans only and has happened to piss off a Philadelphia marine and medical marijuana activist.
As a former prosecutor who touts a 99 percent conviction rate in the Sex Crimes and Major Case Unit, Representative Stephens is possibly harming those he sought justice for in court. Victims of rape and sexual abuse face a one in five chance of getting their day in court and half of assault survivors will suffer from PTSD. At yesterday’s Campaign for Compassion rally, one demonstrator took shot at Todd Stephens on this issue.
Former Marine and ongoing medical marijuana activist for veterans who suffer from PTSD, Michael Whiter was shocked when he heard about Todd Stephens’ amendment. Whiter spent ten years as a Marine and served tours in Kosovo and Iraq. Back home, he was the first person to be cited for smoking marijuana in public after Philadelphia’s decriminalization ordinance went into effect.
Since Senate Bill 3 had been passed by the House Rules Committee, over 90 amendments have been added to the bill in order to stall the bill in the House or delay the implementation of the law if it were to make it to the Governor’s desk.
Whiter told the Raging Chicken that “being a vet with PTSD, I’m happy that PTSD is a qualifying condition under SB3,” but “it is unacceptable for any politician to say that only vets with PTSD can gain access to medical cannabis. Especially a politician who has worked with sex crime victims and families of murder victims.”
Hopefully the House recognizes that this amendment is nothing more than trying to score political points with a portion of those suffering from a serious mental health disorders, but this we are in Pennsylvania where anything is always possible.