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State Representative Mark B. Cohen has re-introduced a bill to regulate medical cannabis in the Keystone State. The legislation, HB1653, has a new name: The Governor Raymond P. Shafer Compassionate Use Medical Marijuana Act. This refers to the Republican former governor (1967-1971) and PA party leader.
In 1971 Shafer was picked by President Richard Nixon to direct The National Commission on Marihuana and Drug Abuse. Working in an early form of the Controlled Substances Act, marijuana was classified as a prohibited drug. This was thought to be temporary and the blue-ribbon panel was tasked with exploring the issue to determine the final placement .
The team of sociologists, psychologists, physicians, lawmakers and policy experts toured the country to conduct careful research and observations. Shafer then led the effort to craft the final report: “Marihuana: A Signal of Misunderstanding.” It was strikingly candid. The conclusion was that cannabis should not remain in the current narcotic drugs scheme. The Commission went further, recommending that personal possession of cannabis – even transfer for no remuneration – should be decriminalized. +