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New York State Zones Out, Misses Medical Marihuana Deadline

A press release from the Buffalo Cannabis Movement:

marijuanaThe Buffalo Cannabis Movement is extremely displeased with implementation of the Compassionate Care Act (CCA) by the New York State Department of Health (DOH), and we find no compassion for the needs of suffering patients and caregivers in the implementation process to date. The simple fact is that “medical marihuana” will not be available for patients in Western New York by the January 5 deadline. While Gov. Cuomo tasked the DOH in June 2014 to choose dispensary applicants whose establishment would be able to manufacture and dispense medicine by this deadline, our research shows that applications of well-established businesses better equipped to expedite manufacture and dispensing were denied. The 2 proposed locations of registered organizations in WNY, in close proximity to each other in Amherst/Williamsville, are not within Buffalo City limits, severely restrict those who rely on public transportation, and overlooks patients in the Southtowns.  

There is conflicting information on marijuana dosing—while Commissioner Zucker states in his Message from the Commissioner that the “physician will determine the appropriate dosage based on her or his medical judgment” the required 4-hour educational course is lacking sufficient material for a registered practitioner to dose the medicine. The implementation of the CCA has not been transparent, and Commissioner Zucker has been silent on his decision whether to approve the additional 5 medical conditions he was tasked with, including PTSD which was federally approved for dispensing by Veterans Health Administration health care providers months ago.

We believe that the CCA Medical Marijuana program is ineffective as it is too restrictive, is not in the best interests of New Yorkers, and that the Governor and Commissioner have failed in their responsibility in loco parentis, undertaken over 18 months ago. Patients, caregivers, and their practitioners should determine the appropriate health care strategy, not an overreaching bureaucracy based in Albany. Thus we are calling for full recreational legalization due to the ineptitude of the DOH and the NYS Government officials. We urge the NYS Legislature bring S.01747 and A.03089 to a vote and pass this Legislation the public wants and so many overlooked patients truly need. We demand Gov. Cuomo sign into law the Marijuana Regulation and Taxation Act (MRTA). We urge all local government officials to pressure our State Representatives to focus on this issue, as it is not only a civil rights issue, but a human rights issue.

Click here to sign a petition dedicated to the cause.