medical marijuana

A proposal to expand New York State’s medical marijuana program would ease prescribing and cover more conditions. The changes would include easier access, shorter training courses for practitioners, and reduced regulations for dispensaries, among other changes. Legislative Counsel at the Marijuana Policy Program Kate Bell says these changes would have a positive impact on patients. 

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This week on Science on the Radio Dr. Marvin Druger discusses marijuana. You won't hear a debate whether to legalize the drug or not. What you will hear is a description of what makes up the controversial plant. You'll also hear about the potential use of medicinal marijuana.

Hear Science on the Radio each Wednesday night at 8:35.

A bill to expand the state’s medical marijuana program to cover sufferers of PTSD passed both houses of the legislature, but will Governor Cuomo sign it into law?

New York’s medical marijuana program is far more restrictive than most states. Around a dozen conditions are eligible for treatment, including, according to the State Health Department, “severe and debilitating” forms of cancer, HIV, Parkinson’s and epilepsy.

Sponsors of a bill that passed the Senate and the Assembly say post traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD  needs to be added to that list.

etainhealth.com

The state health department’s plans to expand access to New York’s restrictive medical marijuana program is being greeted with mixed reaction from doctors.  Dispensaries say growth of the program has been slow since the sale of cannabis began in January.   

  Syracuse internist Dr. Jeff Sneider is one of the few doctors in the area certified as a medical marijuana provider.  He said he did it partly out of curiosity, and knowing he had patients who might be eligible.

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.  

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