A state representative from northern York County will host a forum later this week on efforts in Pennsylvania to legalize medical cannabis.

The aim of the forum, set for Thursday at the Fairview Township fire station, isn't to sway attendees to one side of the debate or the other, said forum host Rep. Mike Regan. Instead, the Republican from Carroll Township wants to educate the public on the controversial subject. State Sen. Mike Folmer, R-Lebanon County, is the author of one bill that allows for medical cannabis use and will be the featured speaker.

So far, more than 20 people have signed up to attend the forum, Regan said.

The medical marijuana issue has come to the forefront after Gov. Tom Corbett reversed his position in the debate.

In May, the governor's office announced his support for the legalization of a marijuana extract to treat severe seizures in children. Corbett wants the state to conduct a research pilot project with leading in-state children's hospitals.

"I think a lot of people are softening their view on it," Regan said.

Support: One of those people who changed their position is Regan, who has a background in law enforcement and was previously against the use of medical cannabis.

The representative said he changed his mind after seeing a family member suffer during a losing battle with cancer. That suffering could have been diminished by medical cannabis, he said.

"People shouldn't unnecessarily have to suffer," Regan said.


"I'm for (medical cannabis use). However, I'm still open to listening to all the data." Since 1996, 20 states and Washington, D.C., have passed laws allowing for medical cannabis use, according to the Office of National Drug Control Policy.

Though in favor of adding Pennsylvania to that list, Regan said he doesn't think the state should go so far as to legalize recreational marijuana use as voters in two states did in 2012.

"I'm not of the view that we should be like Colorado and Washington," Regan said.

If you go:

State Rep. Mike Regan's forum on medical marijuana legalization will be held from 6:30 to 8 p.m. Thursday at the Fairview Township fire station, 340 Lewisberry Road.

Call Regan's district office at (717) 432-0792 to RSVP.

- Reach Greg Gross at