Governor Andrew Cuomo’s hesitations may stall the legalization of medical marijuana in New York State. Although Cuomo claims he does not want to ban medical marijuana altogether, he is being very particular about what will and will not be allowed. Why is the governor reluctant to pass new legislation legalizing the drug, and who is likely to suffer most from it?
Cuomo Will Not Sign Something That’s “Just Going To Wreak Havoc”
Coumo is making major changes to bills proposing the legalization of medical marijuana. Lupus, diabetes, and post-concussion syndrome have been removed from the list of illnesses potentially treatable by the drug. Cuomo also made it very clear that he will not stand for smoking marijuana, even for medical reasons. Pills, edibles, and vaporization will be the only acceptable means of treatment. “Medical marijuana, if we do it right, can help. If it doesn’t work, it could become a public safety debacle,” the Governor said.
As it stands, family practice physicians cannot legally prescribe marijuana for even the most serious illnesses. The taboo against marijuana use is relatively new. In fact, China began using marijuana medicinally nearly 5000 years ago. Cannabis–based medications were even available in the U.S. until 1942. Prior to banning pot altogether, the U.S. government collected a one dollar tax per ounce on the drug from 1937 to 1942. Since then, several states have passed new laws legalizing medical marijuana again. These states include: Alaska, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Maine, Michigan, Montana, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Washington.
Who Stands To Lose: Veterans Take Another Hit (No Pun Intended)
Who stands to lose the most? According to family practice doctors, medical marijuana relieves the symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Vets are desperately in need of help, especially when it comes to mental health. At least 22 veterans commit suicide per day, and current mental health programs are severely lacking.
Family practice doctors agree: for the right patients, medical marijuana can be extremely beneficial. Many hope that Governor Cuomo’s good intentions will not keep medical marijuana from those who truly need it, like veterans suffering from PTSD.