Surprise: Pennsylvania representative doesn’t want to do his job

A Republican state representative in Pennsylvania wants to turn over his elected responsibilities to the federal government.

The Raymond P. Shafer Compassionate Use Medical Marijuana Act would allow qualified patients in Pennsylvania to legally use marijuana for medicinal purposes. It would also allow patients to possess up to six marijuana plants and one ounce of usable cannabis. But for nearly a year, House Bill 1653 has languished in the Pennsylvania House Human Services Committee.

Keeping the bill bottled up in committee works just fine for Rep. John Lawrence (R – Franklin). In fact, he says he would rather not deal with the issue at all.

“I’m not a supporter of the legalization of marijuana for medical purposes. This is an issue that should be dealt with at the federal level,” he told the Chester County Daily Local News.

“Ooh, that potato’s hot! You take it!”

Of course, the federal government possesses no constitutional authority to “deal with” medical marijuana. The issue falls under the numerous “objects which, in the ordinary course of affairs, concern the lives, liberties and properties of the people, and the internal order, improvement and prosperity of the State.” Pennsylvania lawmakers have a duty to decide whether the Keystone State will join 15 other states legalizing medicinal cannabis, or if the potential negatives outweigh the possible benefits for patients.

But Lawrence doesn’t want to do his job.