New York Medical Marijuana: What’s the Story?

New York Medical Marijuana is in the News Lately

new york medical marijuana protest with banners

Marijuana, both in it’s recreational form and its medical one are growing in popularity across the United States. On July 15th, 2014 the New York medical marijuana bill was passed. While this initially looks like a win for medical marijuana (mmj) advocates everywhere, there are some flaws in the bill that should be improved in order to make it a successful and viable solution to the medical community.
One of the biggest criticisms this bill faces is in the limitations of the patients allowed to use medical marijuana. Doctors have conflicting views on which diseases can most effectively be treated with medical cannabis. Most do agree, however, that chronic pain sufferers are among the groups which most benefit from mmj.

Medical marijuana New York State, also known as the Compassionate Care Act, only lists about 10% of patients with chronic pain diseases as being eligible for medical cannabis . The diseases on the list include ALS, HIV/AIDS, multiple sclerosis, epilepsy, Parkinson’s Disease and a few others. Critics of the Compassionate Care Act argue that this leaves many patients without relief.

The bill also restricts the amount of growers and dispensaries that are allowed to operate in the state. New York has one of the highest populations in the country, even with the limited medical conditions which make a patient eligible to receive a prescription, there was not enough of a supply for every patient. This has led to states where weed legalization is in full swing, such as Colorado, to ship quantities of marijuana to New York.

Medical marijuana Florida state has many advocates. The legislative session began in March of 2015 and among the bills seeking approval is the Florida Medical Marijuana Act filed by State Senator Jeff Brandes. The bill would protect seriously ill patients from receiving prosecution as a result of using marijuana under the guidance of a doctor. The bill would also bring about a system of registering medical marijuana providers to ensure that patients are receiving their marijuana from a credible distributor. A 60% percent vote will be needed for the bill to pass.

Those who are supporters of legalizing weed see the passing of medical marijuana bills as a step in the right direction. The debate over whether or not America should legalize weed has points on both sides of the fence. For those who are wondering where is marijuana legal, this is the state breakdown as of March 2015:

Four states have marijuana legalized for recreational use. These states are Oregon, Washington, Alaska, and Colorado and D.C. It is interesting to note that each of these states started with medical marijuana governed by state laws and later passed recreational marijuana laws. Twenty three states (and D.C.) have laws which either completely allow for the use of mmj or allow for the use of medical marijuana with certain restrictions.

If Florida passes their medical marijuana act, they will be the first of the “southern states” to pass such a law. This will perhaps open the doors to other states that have not been so eager to budge on the issue. The flaws which exist in some of the legal systems and the successes of others will be good guidelines for all the states that will consider legalizing marijuana for medical use in the future.

 

Sources:

http://gothamist.com/2015/02/04/nys_medical_marijuana.php
http://www.mpp.org/states/florida/
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/news/new-york-medical-marijuana/
http://www.mpp.org/states/new-york/
http://qz.com/231898/new-yorks-new-medical-marijuana-law-is-the-worst-in-the-us/
http://www.governing.com/gov-data/state-marijuana-laws-map-medical-recreational.html

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