State senator: My pot use on taxpayer-funded trip was research

Posted: August 2, 2014 - 3:55am


HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — A Pennsylvania state senator said Friday he used marijuana during a recent taxpayer-funded trip to Colorado to observe the state's legal marijuana industry in action.

Sen. Daylin Leach, a leading proponent of legalized marijuana in the Legislature, said he took two hits from a vape pen, similar to an e-cigarette, at his hotel. The device vaporizes a form of marijuana and is smokeless. Leach said it was a gift from a facility he and aides toured during the trip, which cost nearly $5,000.

Leach, D-Montgomery, said that on his last night in Colorado he wanted to use the drug for the first time in about 25 years because people have told him potency is greater than it used to be.

"I did two hits, which was less than I would have done when I was in high school," Leach said. "I definitely felt the effects of it."

He said the legal weed caused him to giggle a bit through dinner, and afterward in his hotel room he did something uncharacteristic — he watched a romantic comedy on television.

Leach toured growing facilities, laboratories and retail dispensaries. He said the vape pen came in a gift bag along with a pair of sunglasses and two lanyards.

A bill co-sponsored by Leach that would allow medical marijuana passed a state Senate committee with a unanimous vote in late June.

It would permit marijuana to be grown, processed and dispensed, with oversight by a Board of Medical Cannabis Licensing. Patients would need a $100 access card and would have to establish a patient-physician relationship, as well as written confirmation of a qualifying medical condition.

Gov. Tom Corbett, a Republican former prosecutor, has said his support for legalized marijuana extends only to the use of an extract to treat severe seizures in children.