Assembly says High Time for Change in “Marihuana” Law
by Buck Quigley - posted 5:34 pm, June 20, 2008
The marble halls of the State Capitol in Albany are echoing once again with debate on the scandalous topic of medicinal “marihuana,” as the Assembly passed a bill (89-52) in favor of allowing doctors to prescribe the drug to very sick patients who don’t respond well to currently legal pharmaceuticals. Currently, 12 states have medicinal marijuana laws on the books.
Under the new bill, patients would be legally allowed to possess 2.5 ounces of pot for treatment of chronic pain, for example, without threat of arrest. The State would also grant them the right to grow up to 12 plants for their own use.
Under the new bill, “the department of health would monitor such use and promulgate rules and regulations for registry identification cards; (and) provides for reports by the department of health to the governor and legislature on the medical use of marihuana.” (Interesting, how the current documents adopt the same antiquated spelling as the Marihuana Tax Act of 1937—not commonly used since Louis Armstrong was a young viper.)
As justification for a new law, the Assembly bill argues:
Thousands of New Yorkers have serious medical conditions that may benefit from medical use of marijuana. The National Academy of Sciences` Institute of Medicine concluded in a 1999 report that "nausea, appetite loss, pain and anxiety. . .all can be mitigated by marijuana." Doctors and patients have documented that marijuana can be an effective treatment - where other medications have failed - for at least some patients who suffer from HIV/AIDS, cancer, epilepsy, multiple sclerosis, and other life-threatening or debilitating conditions. Although other drugs are more effective than marijuana for some patients, the Institute of Medicine noted that "there will likely always be a sub-population of patients who do not respond well to other medications." Medical marihuana must be available to those patients.
The bill received a “yes” vote from local NYS Assembly members Sam Hoyt and Crystal Peoples. A similar provision died on the Senate floor last year. If you’d like to read the bill for yourself, you can check it out…‘ere.