, Associated Press
The House voted narrowly Wednesday to reject legalizing marijuana use for medicinal purposes.
The House voted 186-177 to kill a bill that would have allowed the illegal drug’s use for treatment of debilitating medical conditions.
Supporters argued marijuana is the only drug that helps people with some illnesses.
Lancaster Democrat Evelyn Merrick, a cancer survivor, said her treatment often was worse than the disease.
”How many others must we allow to suffer needlessly?” she said.
Westmoreland Democrat William Chase, who treated cancer patients as a surgeon, said effective therapy is illusive.
But opponents said the bill had too many problems, especially on controlling who could grow marijuana.
”We have ample therapeutic equivalents legally available,” said Durham Democrat Joseph Miller, a retired doctor.
Miller said legal drugs are administered by pill, injection, spray or under the tongue -- not by smoking them, which is unhealthy.
Hinsdale Democrat William Butynski said the bill would allow people and their caregivers to grow marijuana.
”There is no such thing as medical marijuana,” he said.