Medical Marijuana Growing In New Jersey. Cuomo's "Progressive" New York: Not So Much

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Things just got a little greener in the Garden State.

The New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services issued a permit to Montclair-based Greenleaf Compassion Center yesterday to begin growing medical marijuana. It's the first "compassion club" in New Jersey to receive a permit since the state's medical marijuana law was signed in 2010.

Here in New York, however -- the "progressive capitol of the nation," according to Governor Andrew Cuomo -- a medical marijuana bill that will be introduced into the Legislature in the next few weeks probably won't see the light of day; Cuomo says he won't consider a medical marijuana bill this year because (he claims) there are "tremendous risks" associated with letting people use marijuana to treat various medical conditions.

We've asked the governor's office on two separate occasions to explain to us what the "tremendous risks" associated with medical marijuana are. The gov's response each time: crickets.

"We are grateful to Health Commissioner Mary O'Dowd for getting the program to this important milestone," Roseanne Scotti, New Jersey State Director of Drug Policy Alliance -- the group that led the campaign to pass the Compassionate Use Medical Marijuana Act -- says in an email to the Voice. "The patients we work with and represent are ecstatic.  They have waited so long for safe and legal access to medical marijuana and this gives them hope that that wait is coming to an end and relief is in sight."

New Jersey's Compassionate Use of Medical Marijuana Act allows for the licensing of
six Alternative Treatment Centers to grow and dispense medical marijuana to seriously ill patients. As soon as the law is fully implemented, it will allow patients suffering from certain debilitating and life-threatening illnesses such as cancer, HIV/AIDS, and multiple sclerosis to use and possess a limited amount of medical marijuana with a doctor's recommendation.

When weighing the pros and cons of medical marijuana for New York, Cuomo might want to consider the story of Don and Gerry McGrath, whose youngest son, Sean, was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer in 2004, when he was only 28 years old.

According to the McGraths, Sean's doctors recommended he use marijuana to treat the debilitating pain and nausea he suffered as a result of the disease.

"Words can't express what it was like to watch my son waste away before my eyes, and then on top of that pain, have to deal with feeling like criminals just because Sean used medical marijuana, which helped relieve some of his suffering," the McGrath's say in an email to the Voice. "I'm so grateful that the state finally appears to be moving forward with medical marijuana and that no other family will ever have to go through what my wife Gerry and our family endured."

Again, despite there being overwhelming public support for medical marijuana in New York (anywhere from 60-percent to 80-percent of New Yorkers support medical marijuana, depending on which poll you look at) -- and across the country -- Cuomo won't consider the bill.

See our story on Staten Island state Senator Diane Savino's upcoming medical marijuana bill here. Click here to see our post suggesting that Cuomo refuses to consider medical marijuana legislation because he plans on running for president in 2016 and doesn't want to have to explain on the campaign trail why he's soft on drugs.

We'll let you know if Cuomo's folks ever get back to us about the "tremendous risks" of medical marijuana. 


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8 comments
Kirby_thompson
Kirby_thompson

I'm a 26yr old suffering whit crones desiesA my guts hart really bad sum most times But a junt or sum mary j /weed pot or watever Makes me 100% ok I use a shot of remakida meds cost 3$3,000per mo. Plus the bills of the dr And weed cost me $300 per mo. And keeps me out the hospital $$$$$xxx I need nj state Somke to stay healthy 5615680727

Carlo2732
Carlo2732

Let's just all grow mary jane. 

Neo-Realist
Neo-Realist

I believe Andrew is running for the presidency in 2016 and he's burnishing his cred with Big Pharma, who doesn't want the MMJ to compete with their cannabis based drugs in the pipeline and would reward him with campaign cash for standing on its side and the federal law enforcement agencies whose jobs will be protected in a Cuomo administration by the continued draconian drug war.

malcolmkyle
malcolmkyle

Prohibition kills more people and ruins more lives than the drugs it prohibits.

* Due to Prohibition (historically proven to be an utter failure at every level), the availability of most of these mood-altering drugs has become so universal and unfettered that in any city of the civilized world, any one of us would be able to procure practically any drug we wish within an hour.

* Throughout history, the prohibition of any mind-altering substance has always exploded usage rates, overcrowded jails, fueled organized crime, created rampant corruption of law-enforcement - even whole governments, while inducing an incalculable amount of suffering and death. 

* Apart from the fact that the DEA is the de facto enforcement wing of the pharmaceutical industry, the involvement of the CIA in running Heroin from Vietnam, Southeast Asia and Afghanistan, and Cocaine from Central America has been well documented by the 1989 Kerry Committee report, academic researchers Alfred McCoy and Peter Dale Scott, and the late journalist Gary Webb.

* The future depends on whether or not enough of us are willing to take a long look at the tragic results of prohibition. If we continue to skirt the primary issue while refusing to address the root problem then we can expect no other result than a worsening of the current dire situation. - Good intentions, wishful thinking and pseudoscience are no match for the immutable realities of human nature.

* Many important advancements in human society (even the reasonable requirement that gynecologists wash their hands before examining a patient) have been vehemently resisted by unconscionable, selfish individuals who were willing to use outright mendacity, specious logic and fear mongering to sacrifice the well-being of the rest of us.

Never have so many been endangered and impoverished by so few so quickly!

* The urge to save humanity is almost always a false-face for the urge to rule it. - H. L. Mencken (1880-1956) American editor, essayist and philologist.

Ayurvedic Personality
Ayurvedic Personality

we provide for a person to assess themselves,giving answers to universal questions spontaneously, thereby providing a mirrorto the personality of a respondent for a better understanding of oneself

TexMex
TexMex

How's Gov Huomo going to explain why he's soft on traditional marriage?

carllafong
carllafong

The upcoming pot comedy film Gone to Pot is offering a free video contest with $10,000 in prize money and a chance to have your 45 sec or less video explaining why you like weed appear in their film. Celeb judges include comedian Margaret Cho and Academy Award nominated director Peter Bogdanovich. Find them on Facebook at gonetopotmovie or gonetopot.com.

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