Medical Marijuana Bill Introduced in NY Legislature [Updated with Commentary]
A bipartisan coalition has introduced a bill in the New York State Assembly and Senate simultaneously that would permit use of cannabis for medical purposes by patients who have been certified by a doctor. So far, 18 states have passed similar bills, including New Jersey.
Assembly Bill 6357 and Senate Bill 4406 would allow for medicinal use of medical marijuana in New York.
The legislation, known as Bill 6357 in the Assembly, and Bill 4406 in the Senate, still manages to spell marijuana as "marihuana," the same way it appears on the 1937 Federal Controlled Substances Act, in which it is categorized as a useless and very dangerous substance, the same classification that persists today.
The Voice asked Dr. Sunil K. Aggarwal, M.D., PhD., cannabis expert and resident physician at NYU Medical Center, what he thought about the legislation, and here's his response:
This bill needs to be passed. Thousands of patients in New York state could benefit from medicinal use of cannabis under a doctor's supervision. The safety level, the research, and clinical experience in other states are there. Doctors can get rapid CME training at places theanswerpage.com and medicalcannabis.com accredited by the publishers of the NEJM and UCSF. For some conditions like HIV painful neuropathy, inhaled cannabis is the treatment with the best quality of evidence with most benefit.
Next: The text of the Assembly version of the bill, courtesy of NORML's website.