NY Lawmakers Mull Medical Marijuana Legislation

New York’s medical marijuana bill has already passed the State House and now has favorably cleared a key Senate Committee as part of the state budget.

Millions in license fees are at stake, but proponents say that’s not the reason it should be approved.

This is coming only months after New Jersey passed a similar law. Patients suffering from neurological and muscular diseases report tremendous relief from smoking pot and as a muscular dystrophy patient, Rich Morosky told lawmakers it’s a godsend.

Morosky was in Albany Tuesday describing life before marijuana. “I would literally have to straighten my arms out, untangle my fingers,” he said. “Once I got up to therapeutic dosage in my bloodstream, it’s not like I’m getting all wacky and having a good time. I’m medicated, and this medicine works.”

With medical marijuana already legal in 14 states, opposition to the bill is weakening, but it still makes a lot of people nervous. “We’ve seen it in California. It doesn’t work in California. We believe, I believe personally that it’s a gateway drug and it will open up for more usage of marijuana amongst kids, and lead to further drug use across our state,” said Sen Martin Golden (R-Brooklyn).

The New York law would limit prescriptions to seriously ill patients and there be no home grown weed. Licensed growers and distributors would generate $15 million annually for the state, according to the bill’s sponsors who said the time has come.

“The New York Law would be the most restrictive of any medical marijuana law in the country,” said Assemblyman Richard Gottfried (D-Manhattan).

Advocate Jim Miller said New York could learn from New Jersey’s legislative experience. “How dare we ask sick and dying people to come and beg their legislators for relief they know could be had” he said.

The law, as written, would put the State Health Department in charge of the New York medical marijuana program. Opponents point out the Health Department has a hard enough time preventing Medicaid fraud without taking on a controlled substance.

– Article from CBS News.

Comments

5 Comments

  1. Anonymous on

    I am a 38-year-old male living with HIV & severe psoriasis….the medical benefits of marijuana seriously need to be considered by our politicians….i suffer daily from chronic pain that pills prescribed by doctors either do not alleviate or cause me to wake in the morning with a “hung-over” feeling….for someone who does not drink alcohol this is disruptive to my day from the start….smoking marijuana allows me to sleep throughout the night & to awake feeling refreshed & able to face another day of pain….as someone else stated, i do not view pot as a “party” drug the we would buy & smoke up on friday night but as a seriously beneficial medicine that truly allows me to function to the best of my limited abilities….my doctors tend to agree with me & have seen the benefits to “pot” over the currently prescibed medications that limit my ability to function….please, as a US citizen who suffers daily, i beg you to consider passing the Medical Marijuana Bills here in New York….before myself & many others consider moving to New Jersey just so we can get the relief from chronic pain that we deserve & others in our country already benefit from….

  2. Leonard Krivitsky, MD, DD on

    I worked in drug addiction clinics of Philadelphia for years, and I have seen plenty of cases of severe dependence on opiates as well as many “nerve” and “sleeping” pills. Recent overdose death of Corey Haim is a good illustration of what I have observed over and over – an addiction to current “legal” controlled prescription drugs. At the same time I have seen very, very few questionable cases of marijuana dependence and NEVER a case of marijuana “overdose”. The so-called “gateway drug” theory is a complete fantasy, and according to Substance Abuse: A Comprehensive Textbook, 4-th Edition, cannabis use suppresses, instead of inciting, violent crime (p. 267) Since medical marijuana is also highly effective in a variety of medical conditions (pain, muscle spasms, malnutrition, nausea, glaucoma to just name a few), as well as depression, anxiety, insomnia, mood swings and PTSD, it should be legalized ASAP and made available to our veterans the same way it is available to Canadian veterans. In Canada the government even pays for medical marijuana for veterans. Aren’t our veterans as deserving of help?? http://www.cannabisculture.com/v2/content/canada-pay-military-veterans-medical-marijuana

  3. Samson on

    Seems to me that cannabis is a PLANT substance……pills are the real CONTROLLED substance; because you have to control the proper amounts of what-the-fuck-ever ingredients go into manufacturing medicines in pill form.
    And the only real time our gov’t will truely be able to call cannabis a “controlled” substance is to(you guessed it…) legalize it. Can’t control a substance that isn’t regulated.?

  4. CNY Pot Head on

    Restricting use to only severely ill people is not cool. It should be legal for all adults and children with a doctor’s approval. I’ve lived with the burden of depression for a long time and pot helps me get through the day. I’m not a bad person. I just wanna get high after a hard day at work. Marijuana prohibition is obscenely stupid. It’s almost as dumb as outlawing masturbation.

  5. Shamed in NY on

    I spend a few days each year in Cali. It’s always amusing how I can return home and tell my friends what will be happening here in about 3 years. That seems to be how far we lag behind Cali. Seriously, if you folks on the west coast actually pull off legalization for recreation and personal cultivation, I swear to Bob Marley I will move.