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New York Marijuana Advocates Push Measure to Legalize

New York Marijuana Advocates Push Measure to Legalize

Posted by Marijuana Doctors on 05/16/2012 in Medical Marijuana Legalization

Medical marijuana may no longer be considered much of a pipe dream in New York, according to a brand new Siena College poll. The poll showed 57% of New Yorkers supporting the legalization of marijuana. This has absolutely sparked advocates efforts to push harder for a new law, but some law enforcement officials believe that legalization could open the door for the abuse of marijuana.

The new Siena College poll suggests a growing support for the legalization of medical marijuana. Pro-marijuana advocates wasted absolutely no time in organizing a press conference on Wednesday to express the merits of a bill that they say would be the most restrictive marijuana legalization measure in the whole country.

New Yorkers In Need of Medicating

Bruce Dunn, an advocate still dealing with the after-effects of a severe car accident that took place 23 years ago, said, “Cannabis is especially helpful for my neck pain. It allows the damaged muscles to relax and it hurts me less.” Bruce Dunn is one of hundreds of New Yorkers that are suffering from debilitating health conditions, who as of this current moment treat their conditions with the use of illegal marijuana.

Another New Yorker, Wanda Hernandez, was diagnosed with HIV in 1995 and has to deal with the constant bouts of nausea due to her prescribed HIV medication. Hernandez said, “Because of my HIV medication, I have constant battles with nausea, but when I use marijuana, it helps me settle my stomach and I feel comfortable.”

Advocates across the state of New York are now hoping to cut through the smoke of illegal medical marijuana use by simply making it legal. A new and more restrictive legislation bill passed in the Assembly Health Committee on Tuesday. Assemblyman Richard N. Gottfried, Chair of the Assembly Health Committee, said, “Lives could be made more livable and in longer in many cases if we allow them to be treated under medical supervision.” Gottfried is fighting to relieve the many New Yorkers that are suffering from debilitating conditions by urging the passing of this bill.

Under the new potential law, patients could only receive medical marijuana recommendations from licensed health care providers and they would then be required to register with the New York state Department of Health. After being approved, patients could only buy medical marijuana in increments of 2.5 ounces from a specially regulated hospital or pharmacy.

However, law enforcement officials are not sold on the suggested safeguards of the measure. Albany County Sheriff, Craig Apple, said, “I think it presents a lot of issues, whenever you have a cash crop and times are tough, people go for ulterior ways of making money. I feel for the people who can help them, I hope it works out for them, but there are a lot of avenues for abuse with it.”

Although law enforcement officials aren’t the ones who are going to continue to feel the pain, it’s the advocates who will continue to feel it. Eileen Knieczny, a nurse who treats patients diagnosed with cancer, says that medical cannabis needs to be an option for doctors to recommend to their patients. Knieczny said, “I know what it’s like to stand by and watch those that you love suffer.”

The measure’s next destination is the New York State full Assembly, where it’s expected to definitely pass. However, it’s the Senate where support is lacking and has the potential to be snuffed out. 

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