The Pennsylvania State Nurses Association has become the first medical professional group to formally support cannabis legislation. The association, which represents more than 212,000 registered nurses in Pennsylvania, has endorsed a bill that would legalize the use of medical cannabis in the state.The group believes that medical marijuana is worthy of further clinical testing and can be a valuable treatment option for some patients. “We have been hearing a lot from our patients and their families about it, especially from those with seizure disorders where traditional medical treatments are not effective,” said Betsy Snook, the association’s CEO.The bill, known as the “Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Act,” would allow patients who have a prescription from their doctor to obtain medical cannabis at licensed Care Centers and establish state oversight of cannabis growers and dispensaries.While individual doctors have voiced their support for cannabis legislation, this is the first time an association of medical professionals has done so. Snook said that the endorsement is driven by the Nurses Association code of ethics and the desire to bring about social change and symptom relief for patients.The bill was sponsored by Pennsylvania state senators Daylin Leach and Mike Folmer and has received public support from families of children with drug-resistant epilepsy, whose symptoms could be alleviated with the use of cannabis. Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett has said he will veto the bill, however, as cannabis is still illegal under federal law.Photo credit: Seattle Municipal Archives via photopin cc