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Local Mom Hopes Medical Marijuana Bill Passes

By Timira Rush
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(Photo Credit: Pittsburgh Police)

(Photo Credit: Pittsburgh Police)

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PITTSBURGH (NewsRadio 1020 KDKA/AP) – Two state senators, one a Republican and the other a Democrat, are planning to introduce a bill to legalize a certain form of marijuana for medicinal use in Pennsylvania.

Sens. Daylin Leach and Mike Folmer said Monday their bill would help ensure Pennsylvanians can get medical benefits from cannabidiol, a compound found in marijuana that’s credited with various medical applications without providing a high.

Heather Shuker, mother of 10-year-old Hannah Pallas, tells KDKA’s Marty Griffin that her daughter suffers from five different seizure types on a daily basis.

Hannah’s seizures began when she was four-months-old and they have escalated in recent years. Hannah could have anywhere from 100-to-300 seizures a week. Last night alone, Shuker says she suffered 51-seizures.

Heather says there have been discussions about surgery, but it requires the brain to be split in half. Initially, and out of desperation, she was planning on having the surgery done.

However, there are other options.

Hannah is not physically in condition to get any type of surgery or to be placed under anesthesia. Something as simple as medical marijuana could help.

As of right now, because medical marijuana is not legal in Pennsylvania, she would have to move to Colorado in order to pursue that option.  When asked about moving to a state like Colorado where she could receive medical marijuana Hannah Shuker discusses the weight of a decision like that.  “One of the things that people don’t understand is that this is illegal federally, so, not only in Pennsylvania is it illegal, but it’s illegal federally.  If we move there, we can’t leave the state, because if we leave and we’re caught with it, it’s a felony.”

Two Pennsylvania mothers of children with epilepsy, including a rare and sometimes deadly form called Dravet syndrome, appeared with Leach and said they believe it can help their children.

You can listen to more of Heather’s interview below.

(TM and © Copyright 2013 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2013 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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