Medical Experts See Dangers in Pennsylvania Home-Grow Marijuana Bill (2023)

Pennsylvania’s home-grow marijuana bill is the “most unscientific and irresponsible piece of legislation we have ever seen,” according to medical experts.

The bill allows any medical patient with 30 days of residency in Pennsylvania to grow up to six cannabis plants for personal use.

This rule will create a new series of dangers for Pennsylvania citizens, according to Dr Tony Ruffa, pharmacist Louis Aliota, and pharmacist Gina Ruffa.

Tony Ruffa said he favors the decriminalization of marijuana and the use of medical marijuana. But residential marijuana growth and increased marijuana availability will bring trouble the government can’t control.

Medical marijuana is used as a painkiller, anti-nausea drug, and muscle spasm suppressant. Photo is of the drug being weighed at a medical dispensary in Vancouver, Canada, on Feb. 5, 2015. (The Canadian Press/Jonathan Hayward)

He said he hopes that the chain of states that legalize marijuana will end with Pennsylvania.

“It’s getting worse and worse,” Ruffa said. “People are realizing that the pot today is really bad. So hopefully it’s in Pennsylvania where we can stand up and say ‘no’.”

Home growth of marijuana endangers house occupants and is extremely difficult to regulate, Ruffa said.

Pennsylvania’s Senate Bill 1024, introduced by state Sen. Sharif Street (D-3rd District), is barely three pages long.

Sowing Seeds

It allows Pennsylvania patients to buy cannabis seeds from a dispensary and grow six plants in their homes for personal use only.

Only the patient, the patient’s caregiver, or an authorized agent tending the property for a brief period can care for the plants.

The plants must be out of public view and in a locked space.

Growers must also get permission from the home owner if they don’t own the property. Anyone who breaks the law will face penalties, as well as the removal of their marijuana growing privileges.

(Video) Legalized Recreational Marijuana Could Come To Pennsylvania, But Some Say More Analysis Needed

State Sen. Dan Laughlin (R-49th District), one of the bill’s sponsors, argued that it’s hard for sick people in rural Pennsylvania to drive to the nearest marijuana dispensary.

“If you’re a cancer patient and you are not feeling well, cannabis helps you with nausea and stuff like that,” Laughlin told the Erie Times-News.

“For folks that have to get in a car and drive an hour or so away to get what they need to make themselves feel better when they could have a couple of plants rightin their house, it does seem a little bit cruel to not allow them to do that.”

This simple bill fails to cover the complexities and dangers of growing marijuana, said Tony Ruffa.

“With the cannabis located in the house, it can cause an unhealthy atmosphere for some of those in the house,” he said.

Marijuana reduces blood flow in the parts of the brain affected by Alzheimer’s disease. Brain scans of a patient with Alzheimer’s disease (Atthapon Raksthaput/Shutterstock)

As plants go, marijuana is impressively complex, Tony Ruffa said. To make a usable product, growers need both male and female plants.

Indoor marijuana plants tend to range between 7 to 15 inches in height.

The plants must grow in a high-humidity environment. This effect can cause mold that can cause lung issues like bronchitis, he said.

Indoor plants also require enough electricity to cause fire hazards, he added.

Finally, marijuana plants themselves can be a hazard. The plants are poisonous to cats and dogs. Children can also easily take a dangerous dose of marijuana that can slow their breathing and potentially kill them, according to the National Capital Poison Center.

It’s more likely for marijuana accidents to happen at home than in a highly-regulated dispensary, said Ruffa.

“There are more kids visiting the emergency room in states that have marijuana, and they’re visiting the emergency rooms because of marijuana poisoning,” he said.

(Video) Lawmakers Introduce Plan To Allow Legal Recreational Marijuana Use In Pa.

Dangerous For Intended Use

Beyond all these potential risks, marijuana itself can often have negative impacts on users.

Today’s marijuana is 20 to 50 times stronger than the marijuana of previous generations, said Louis Aliota. Aliota is a pharmacist with 40 years of experience.

This increased potency can affect the brain in surprising ways, Tony Ruffa said.

Studies have linked marijuana to schizophrenia, anxiety, depression, and substance abuse disorders. Medical studies are inconclusive on whether medical marijuana is actually helpful.

These issues have an especially destructive impact on young people, Tony Ruffa said. Drugs hit developing brains harder, with more long-term effects.

“Pot today is making kids psychotic and making them schizophrenic. It’s getting them addicted to go on to other drugs,” he said.

“Kids are committing suicide because they’re becoming more paranoid. And there’s more motor vehicle accidents.”

The marijuana industry is extremely lucrative and sometimes attracts the attention of organized crime. International criminal organizations are illegally growing marijuana on an industrial scale in southern Oregon. (Courtesy of Josephine County Sheriff’s Office)

Finally, it’s highly unusual for patients to get painkillers without a prescription, Aliota said. Any drug strong enough to cure pain is usually strong enough to cause harm. Putting a patient in charge of manufacturing their own drug supply creates potential for trouble, he said.

“If you take a drug, you have to be monitored,” he said. “If you don’t, as you grow older, it’s going to have an adverse effect.”

There’s no way for the government to monitor patients with six plants in their homes, Aliota said.

Moreover, marijuana can tend to function as a “gateway drug.” According to studies, use of a lighter drug often leads to use of harder drugs.

People who use marijuana, drink alcohol, or drink lots of caffeine tend to be more susceptible to taking harder drugs.

(Video) Options To Consume Cannabis Grow As More States Legalize Marijuana

Opportunities for Misuse

Even if no accidents happen, Bill 1024 opens many avenues for drug misuse too, Tony Ruffa said.

For a start, home-grown marijuana is vulnerable to theft and use by the wrong people, he said.

The presence of marijuana supplies in homes will make it easier for young people to use the drug without parental knowledge, Ruffa said.

“Who hasn’t stolen their dad’s cigarettes, or the bottle of wine or beer that was in the cupboard?” he asked. “How are you to prevent these kids from taking pot that’s being grown from the house?”

Lawbreaking or abuse of the law adds another layer of complexity to the problem, he added.

Pennsylvania currently has about 367,000 patients registered for medical marijuana use. To register, a patient must get a physician’s certification that they suffer from a medical condition that qualifies for medical marijuana, then pay for an ID card.

Some of the conditions, like a terminal illness or a cancer diagnosis, are difficult to fake. But others, like anxiety disorders, can be easy to lie about.

Lies can also prove profitable, Tony Ruffa said. A house with five occupants who are “patients” could hypothetically grow 30 marijuana plants, he said. A mature plant can be worth between $1,500 and $2,000.

“As a family doctor, a lot of people have told me, ‘Listen, I don’t go to the dispensary for medical marijuana because I can’t afford it. So I go on the street, and it’s much cheaper,’” Ruffa said.

“So now, here is a conduit for people to be able to grow pot and to sell it on the street and make money.”

Finally, any rules on home growth of marijuana will likely be extremely difficult to enforce, Ruffa said. It would be easy for a medical marijuana user to grow extra plants and sell the remainder.

Authorities would have to search homes to enforce compliance with the law, Ruffa said. But he doubts if doing so would be possible.

(Video) Weed is legal: This is how you grow marijuana at home

“Are they going to do house inspections where the marijuana DEA people in the state come in and see if you lock up your pot? No,” he said.

Jackson Elliott



Jackson Elliott reports on small-town America for The Epoch Times. He learned to write and seek truth at Northwestern University. He believes that the most important actions are small and that as Dostoevsky says, everyone is responsible for everyone and for everything. When he isn’t writing, he enjoys running, reading, and spending time with friends. Contact Jackson by emailing


How long does it take to get your medical card in the mail PA 2022? ›

Please allow 7 days for printing from the date you paid for your ID card and 14 days to receive it in the mail. Your card will be mailed to the address in your patient profile.

What illness qualifies for medical Marijuanas? ›

Qualifying Debilitating Medical Conditions
  • Terminal illness.
  • Cancer.
  • Positive status for Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV Positive)
  • Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS)
  • Decompensated cirrhosis.
  • Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS / Lou Gehrig's Disease)
  • Agitation of Alzheimer's disease.

Can you drive with a medical marijuana card in PA? ›

Risks Medical Marijuana Drivers Face

Since signs of marijuana use are still in your blood even days after using it, this puts all medical marijuana patients at risk when they are driving in Pennsylvania. Since they can get a DUI for this, they can even be arrested!

Can you own a gun with a medical card in PA? ›

If you own a Pennsylvania card for medical marijuana, you cannot buy a gun. That's what the majority of individuals claim, and that's how the law reads. In fact, when you apply for your license, you will be asked if you use medical marijuana. If you answer yes, you will be denied the license.

Can you get a medical card with a felony in Pennsylvania? ›

It is possible to obtain a medical marijuana card with a felony conviction. If you want this ID card you can apply through a licensed physician, but you will be subject to a background check. This background check will focus on the criminal section of your record.

Can you smoke medical Marijuanas in PA? ›

It is legal to possess and consume medical marijuana in Pennsylvania as long as you have a valid MMJ card. However, it is still illegal to have any part of the plant or its products for recreational or non-medical purposes. Ultimately, you can be charged with illegal possession if you do not have a PA MMJ card.

Who was the first person to smoke a blunt? ›

Blunts would not become renowned until they were popularized by hip-hop culture in the mid to late '80s. As to who was the first person to smoke a blunt, we cannot say. We know for sure that the first modern blunt was rolled and smoked in New York City in the 1980s, but it is pure speculation beyond that.

Is medical Marijuanas covered by insurance? ›

Although health insurance does not cover medical marijuana, the majority of states have legalized medical marijuana. So while your health insurance won't pay the bill, you likely have access to medical marijuana if you need it.

What happens if you get caught with edibles in PA? ›

It is a misdemeanor and can lead to a penalty of up to a year in jail, a $5,000 fine, or some combination of the two.

What is the limit for medical marijuana in Pennsylvania? ›

Limits on Purchasing Medical Marijuana in Pennsylvania

Medical marijuana dispensaries are permitted to sell up to a 90-day supply of the medicine to a patient.

Can you get a DUI for marijuana in Pennsylvania? ›

But beware: Despite these legalization efforts and those in other states, motorists can still be convicted of driving under the influence of cannabis. In Pennsylvania, DUI is defined as driving with “any amount” of a controlled substance or its metabolites in the blood.

Is an AR 15 legal in Pennsylvania? ›

In 2017, Pennsylvania became the last state to legalize semi-automatic rifles – including AR-15s – for hunting.

Can you open carry in PA? ›

I § 21), all citizens preserve a right to “bear arms in defense of themselves and the State.” Because Pennsylvania maintains an open carry policy, anyone who is at least 18 years of age, and is not prohibited by law to own and hold firearms, may openly carry a handgun in plain sight without a license, except in ...

What disqualifies you from a concealed carry permit in Pennsylvania? ›

In accordance with 18 PA C.S. §6109, a sheriff may deny a person the right to a License to Carry Firearms if there is reason to believe that the character and reputation of the person is such that they would act in a manner to endanger public safety.

Can you own a gun and have a medical card in Pennsylvania 2022? ›

Although, Pennsylvania statute allows for a citizen of the Commonwealth to hold a validly issued Medical Marijuana Card, possess approved forms of medical marijuana and have a valid license to carry firearms, it is illegal under federal law.

Can you get a medical card for anxiety in PA? ›

Sadly, and despite the fact that anxiety disorders are highly treatable, only one-third of those suffering from an anxiety disorder receive treatment. One such treatment option is medical marijuana. Pennsylvanians can obtain a medical marijuana card to treat anxiety.

Can a felon work at a dispensary in PA? ›

In Pennsylvania, state law prohibits people from working in the medical marijuana industry if they have been convicted of a criminal offense related to the sale or possession of illegal drugs, including prior cannabis-related convictions.

Can you smoke dry leaf in PA? ›

Pennsylvania medical marijuana users have a new way to buy the drug. Dispensaries in Lancaster and Enola, Cumberland County, have begun selling dry leaf marijuana. However, it is illegal to actually smoke the drug in the dry leaf form. Instead, users have to vaporize it.

Can nurses have a medical card Pennsylvania? ›

Doctors and nurses can have medical marijuana cards, but additional job-related risks are involved for medical professionals that don't apply to the average user.

Which president smoked 20 cigars a day? ›

Grant was said to smoke 20 cigars a day. His habit increased during the Civil War, after the Battle at Fort Donelson in Tennessee in mid-February 1862.

What did Romans smoke? ›

According to botany, hemp and cannabis are the same plant and thus the ancient Greeks and Romans must have used it in their daily lives. Cultures parallel to the ancient Greeks and Romans, like the Egyptians, Scythians, and Hittites, were known to use cannabis in their medicine, religion and recreational practices.

Why is it called sativa? ›

The term sativa is a derivative of the Latin botanical adjective sativum, meaning cultivated. The earliest recorded usage of sativa as a cannabis term comes from English herbalist William Turner's The Names of Herbes (1548), in which Cannabis sativa is the scientific name given to cultivated hemp.

Can CBD oil be prescribed by a doctor? ›

It also is important because due to the current legalities of cannabis-related treatments, physicians cannot actually prescribe CBD oil—they can only recommend it as a possible treatment.

Does Medicare cover CBD oil? ›

In fact, CBD-based products have flooded the shelves of many pharmacies and grocery stores in various states. But what about CBD and Medicare? Medicare doesn't cover CBD, despite its growing popularity.

Is CBD oil covered by insurance? ›

While CBD oil is often used to reduce medical ailments, there is currently no CBD oil insurance policy, or health insurance companies in the U.S. that will cover the use of CBD oil or medicinal marijuana, even when prescribed by a doctor.

How much can you buy from a dispensary at a time with a medical card near Pittsburgh PA? ›

So how much medical cannabis are you allowed to purchase in Pennsylvania? Pennsylvania medical marijuana patients are allowed to buy a 30-day supply of product from a medical marijuana dispensary. Each purchase has to have a record attached to it outlining which products were bought.

Are DAB pens illegal in PA? ›

The law is extremely broad and applies to otherwise legal items. As a result, a legal vape pen used to smoke marijuana would be considered drug paraphernalia in Pennsylvania. You can also be charged with possession of paraphernalia, even if you are not charged with possession of marijuana.

Can you smoke CBD and drive in PA? ›

The short answer is yes, driving under the influence of marijuana is illegal in many U.S. states, including Pennsylvania. Even if you have a legal prescription for medical marijuana, you can still get a marijuana DUI in Pennsylvania.

What happens if you are caught with marijuana in Pennsylvania? ›

In Pennsylvania, possessing any amount of marijuana remains a criminal offense (unless you have a valid medical marijuana ID Card). Possessing 30 grams (just over one ounce) or less is a misdemeanor that carries a $500 fine and up to 30 days in jail, although you may be eligible for a conditional release.

What is it called when you get pulled over while high? ›

DUI of marijuana is the criminal offense of operating a motor vehicle when your driving ability is impaired from being under the influence of marijuana.

Can you drive while high Pennsylvania? ›

Section 3802(d)(1)(i) of the Motor Vehicle Code prohibits driving, operating or exercising physical control over the movement of a vehicle when there is any amount of a Schedule I controlled substance, or a metabolite of that substance in your blood.

How long does medical card application take? ›

We process completed medical card applications within 15 days. If we don't have all the information we need, we will write to you and let you know what is missing. This will delay the processing of your application.

How long does it take to get a medical card in Florida 2022? ›

The payment will take 5 days from submission to be fully processed. The application review period may take up to 5 business days. Expect the application review process from start to end to take 10 business days in total. Patients must renew their physician's medical marijuana certificate every 30 weeks.

Can I go to a dispensary before my card arrives in Florida? ›

Can you go into a dispensary without a card in Florida? No, you will need to be registered with the Medical Marijuana Use Registry to shop at any Florida dispensary.

Can I go to a dispensary before my card arrives Oklahoma? ›

You can visit an Oklahoma dispensary before your temporary medical card arrives, but you cannot purchase medical marijuana products until you have your card.

What is a GP card? ›

A GP visit card allows you to visit a participating family doctor (GP) for free. The GP visit card does not cover hospital charges. Prescribed drugs are not free but may be covered by the Drugs Payment Scheme. The GP visit card does cover visits to GP out of hours services.

What does medical card entitle you to? ›

If you have a medical card, you are entitled to: Free GP (family doctor) services, including out-of-hours services. Prescribed drugs and medicines — some prescription charges apply. In-patient public hospital services, out-patient services and medical appliances.

What is a discretionary medical card? ›

You may not qualify for a medical card based on the means test. But if you have medical expenses, you may qualify for a discretionary medical card. A discretionary medical card gives you the same services as a means-tested medical card.

How much can you buy from a dispensary at a time Florida? ›

Currently, there are over 200 dispensaries statewide. As we mentioned above, medical cardholders in Florida can purchase 2.5 ounces of cannabis flower every 35 days.

Can you get a medical card for anxiety in Florida? ›

Yes, medical marijuana is an approved product for many patients suffering from anxiety in Florida. You can only receive medical marijuana if a qualified and licensed medical marijuana doctor approves and authorizes you to get a medical marijuana card.

Can you have a concealed carry and medical card in Florida? ›

Medical Marijuana and a Concealed Weapon License

Before we delve much deeper, we want to assure you that in Florida, it is legal to have a CWL and medical marijuana card at the same time. One does not preclude the other, contrary to popular belief.

How much can you buy at a dispensary in PA? ›

Ultimately, you can be charged with illegal possession if you do not have a PA MMJ card. DO know how much you can possess in Pennsylvania. Under the recent 2021 update to PA MMJ laws, medical marijuana patients can now purchase up to three months' worth of medical marijuana from their licensed dispensary of choice.

Can you be a police officer with a medical card in Florida? ›

As a general rule, there is no requirement to accommodate officers with a medical marijuana card, nor are departments required to allow officers to be a caretaker or have any role in the operation of a medical marijuana distribution facility or network.

What is a 35 day rolling limit in Florida? ›

In April, Florida's Office of Medical Marijuana Use (OMMU) updated the rules for smokable cannabis purchasing limits. Under the law, patients (and caregivers) are eligible to purchase a maximum of 2.5 ounces in a 35-day period.

How much do dispensary owners make in Oklahoma? ›

While ZipRecruiter is seeing salaries as high as $83,416 and as low as $17,513, the majority of salaries within the Dispensary jobs category currently range between $26,729 (25th percentile) to $49,312 (75th percentile) with top earners (90th percentile) making $69,590 annually in Oklahoma.

Does Florida allow out of state medical cards? ›

According to the NCSL page on state medical marijuana laws, Florida does not recognize patients with medical marijuana cards from other states.


1. Starting a Recreational Marijuana Business: CannaMan Farms
(Food Farmer Earth)
2. There is a shortage of medical marijuana at some Pa. clinics
3. Grow 10+ POUNDS of Cannabis Flower on ONE PLANT | Increase Yield
(Learn Organic Gardening at GrowingYourGreens)
4. Watch Hearing: Decriminalizing Cannabis at the Federal Level: Necessary Steps to Address Past Harms
(Senator Cory Booker)
5. What Is It Like to Grow Cannabis at Home? | NBC Connecticut
(NBC Connecticut)
6. Marijuana legalization bill expected to pass the House, face roadblocks in the Senate
(Yahoo Finance)
Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Carmelo Roob

Last Updated: 03/22/2023

Views: 5753

Rating: 4.4 / 5 (65 voted)

Reviews: 88% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Carmelo Roob

Birthday: 1995-01-09

Address: Apt. 915 481 Sipes Cliff, New Gonzalobury, CO 80176

Phone: +6773780339780

Job: Sales Executive

Hobby: Gaming, Jogging, Rugby, Video gaming, Handball, Ice skating, Web surfing

Introduction: My name is Carmelo Roob, I am a modern, handsome, delightful, comfortable, attractive, vast, good person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.