medical marijuana

Karen DeWitt / WXXI News

Proponents of New York’s new medical marijuana law say so far, it’s barely functioning, and they say major revisions are necessary to allow more than just a tiny number of patients to benefit.

New York’s limited medical marijuana began in January, but advocates and patients say it has not worked out as well as they hoped. They say strict limits on diseases that are eligible for treatment, no insurance coverage, and near complete lack of doctors who have undergone the required training and will prescribe the medicine has left them frustrated.

Second Medical Marijuana Dispensary Opens in Syracuse

Feb 2, 2016
Scott Willis / WAER News

  Syracuse’s second medical marijuana dispensary is ready to open on Wednesday.  Etain Health has set up shop on Erie Boulevard East, and will grant eligible patients access to oil-based cannabis products such as a topical oil, a spray, capsules, and a liquid for use in a vaporizing pen.

blogkqed.org

  A New York mother of a child who suffers daily seizures helped Senator Kirsten Gillibrand introduce a bill to make it easier to get medical marijuana.  

“This is clearly a case of ideology getting in the way of scientific progress. The government should not prevent doctors from prescribing medicine that has shown to work.”

WNYC.org

  Governor Cuomo gives a joint State of the State speech and budget address on Wednesday. The speech was delayed due to the death of Cuomo’s father, former governor Mario Cuomo earlier this month.

Because of the late date, Governor Cuomo has decided to include his budget proposals in his State of the State presentation, to give lawmakers ample time to respond and craft a spending plan before the March 31 deadline.

Gov. Cuomo's office

New York is now the 23rd state to allow medical marijuana, now that Governor Cuomo has signed a bill into law. But it will be some time before patients will have access to the drug.

Some Central New York employers and employees might face a legal dilemma when the state’s medical marijuana program takes effect. 

 Partner at Tully Rinckey law firm in Syracuse Graig Zappia  says the  federal Controlled Substances Act still classifies marijuana as a Schedule I drug with “no accepted medical use.” 

  Zappia says both sides have to be wary of anything that might infringe on the rights of others.  He says medical marijuana also introduces liabilities for doctors participating in the program.  Zappia says health care providers will have to be very certain to just whom they’re prescribing the medication so they don’t run afoul of the law.  

Karen DeWitt

Governor Cuomo and the legislature have agreed to a limited medical marijuana program for patients with cancer, AIDS, and childhood seizure disorders.  It will not allow the drug to be smoked.  Cuomo, who  had expressed reservations about allowing medical marijuana, says the bill will grant sick people access to the drug, while imposing limits that will prevent abuse of marijuana.

cannabisnews.org

A Syracuse Doctor initially skeptical of Governor Cuomo's medical marijuana plan is now embracing what appears to be a closely monitored, research-based model.  

Doctor Jeffrey Sneider is an internist at Brighton Medical Associates, and represents a 10 county region for the Medical Society of New York.  Sneider says he's still learning the details, but so far likes the limited scope of the program.