Last week, my Uber driver tried to sell me some weed; or, more specifically, he tried to sell me something called “Orange Monkey Creamsicle,” assuring me it was “absolute fire.” I declined, but ended up saving his phone number anyway, figuring that it couldn’t hurt.
While it’s true that Pennsylvania legalized medical marijuana back in 2016, recreational use remains a distant dream. When it comes to buying weed, most people — even many of those who actually have a prescription — are still relying on the old, shady methods. So, don’t plan on deleting your dealer’s number anytime soon.
That being said, change rarely happens all at once, and the Medical Marijuana Program (signed into law on April 17, 2016), was undoubtedly a step in the right direction. But how big a step? To get a sense of how much movement has been made on Pennsylvania’s weed front, I spoke with some experts on all things cannabis: Chris Goldstein, who teaches “Marijuana in the News” at Temple University and writes the Philly420 column for Philly.com, and Russ Cersosimo, chairman of the Pennsylvania Medical Cannabis Society. These bud pundits walked me through the ins and outs of legal weed in the Keystone State.
Recommended Video Looks Like the Unicycle Just Got a Makeover Africa Studio/Shutterstock.com What qualifies me to get a prescription for marijuana?
Let’s be clear at the outset: don’t expect to waltz into your doctor’s office, lay down some keywords about back pain, and then walk out with a pot script. It doesn’t work like that. Like most states, access to medical weed in Pennsylvania is limited to serious — and, in some cases, terminal — conditions.
There are currently 17 qualifying conditions under the Pennsylvania Medical Marijuana Act, ranging from