Pennsylvania has a knowledge downside.
The court docket acquired concerned as Highlight PA has tried to research the state’s resolution to permit medical marijuana to deal with opioid habit. The Division of Well being has spent a yr attempting to stymie this request, however the court docket rejected the state’s arguments.
This isn’t the primary time the state has tried to maintain data from turning into public. It’s an all-too-common sample.
It isn’t simply the Division of Well being. Different departments endure from related aversions to the reality. Keep in mind when the Division of Labor and Business acknowledged it had been overcharging curiosity to individuals who had been overpaid unemployment advantages and needed to pay it again? Labor and Business confirmed that in 2021 solely after Highlight requested questions. The error had been ongoing since 2006 and was uncovered in 2016.
It’s not simply the Wolf administration. Different governors have been simply as blissful to maintain knowledge below lock and key. It’s simply not the chief department as a result of the Legislature is nice at retaining bills hidden at any time when attainable.
However the marijuana problem appears to indicate the Division of Well being flailing for a rationale to not present the data, arriving at issues like affected person privateness and potential for workers to be charged with crimes. That is ludicrous.
Highlight is trying on the state’s claims about the advantages of medical marijuana with regard to opioid habit. That doesn’t require figuring out data from somebody’s medical data. Senior Decide Bonnie Brigance Leadbetter agreed, calling the argument “undeveloped” and saying the division missed the purpose.
However why is the state making controversial claims whereas denying entry to the information? How might the division not have anticipated that such requests can be made? Making claims with out help is much less what you anticipate from a state company and extra what you get from a multilevel advertising operation promising miracle cures with important oils.
This isn’t to say the state is incorrect concerning the claims. Perhaps medical marijuana can profit opioid habit the identical manner it guarantees reduction for glaucoma and chemotherapy uncomfortable side effects. However advising addicts to interchange a prescription drug with one other regulated substance with out concrete proof appears unusual. Combating it for a yr is stranger.
The easiest way to win belief is with transparency. Pennsylvania has hassle with that form of readability in the very best circumstances.
However with regards to their well being, folks want the very best, clearest data attainable to make choices. If the Division of Well being can’t do this with medical marijuana data, perhaps it shouldn’t be concerned with hashish
in any respect.