Marijuana Access On The Horizon
function share_this(num) {
 tit=encodeURIComponent('Marijuana Access On The Horizon');
 site = new Array(5);
 return false;

Marijuana Access On The Horizon
Posted by CN Staff on January 06, 2014 at 05:20:44 PT
By Anemona Hartocollis
Source: New York Times
New York -- Nancy Rivera, a cancer survivor, has a bag of pills in her night stand — white, gold and rust, big and little, antidepressants, antiemetics and tranquilizers — given to her by doctors. So it always seemed hypocritical to her that while she could possess such powerful mind-altering pharmaceuticals in fairly generous quantities, she was not allowed to legally smoke marijuana to relieve the nausea and pain of her cancer and chemotherapy. Now her wish may be a step closer to reality as Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo of New York plans to announce in the State of the State address on Wednesday that he will use his executive powers to allow 20 hospitals across the state to dispense medical marijuana, state officials said.
The plan bypasses the State Legislature, which has failed to pass a medical marijuana bill, but it leaves much to be determined, such as which patients would qualify and which hospitals would be chosen as dispensaries. Ms. Rivera, 60, who is in remission from breast, colon and throat cancers, and other patients and their families said on Sunday that they worried the program would be too restrictive. “I think it’s, kind of, more than anything for terminally ill patients, and that’s wonderful,” Ms. Rivera said. “But then there’s people like me. Are we dying right now? No. But we could certainly use the healing properties.” The plan would invoke a 1980 law allowing research into marijuana therapy for “patients who are involved in a life-threatening or sense-threatening situation,” and it specifically mentions cancer and glaucoma. The governor’s aides have said that he does not want marijuana to be available for run-of-the-mill complaints, like backache, as it is in some other states. But an administration official said on Sunday that the 1980 law did not limit treatment to terminal cases and that conditions like multiple sclerosis, severe pediatric illness and cancer in remission would probably qualify. The final regulations are up to the Health Department, after public hearings. The official, who spoke anonymously because the program has yet to be announced, said the law was being interpreted as a research program not into the efficacy of the drug itself, but into the best way of creating a system to dispense it. Hospitals would have to apply to the State Health Department to become dispensaries. It was not clear Sunday whether academic medical centers, for instance, would have an advantage over community hospitals. The administration official said that apart from geographical diversity, the criteria for being selected had not yet been developed. Officials at several major New York hospitals and the Greater New York Hospital Association, a trade group, said they had not been consulted. Gabriel Sayegh, state director of Drug Policy Alliance, an advocacy group, said the governor’s plan was “an excellent development,” but he was anxious to see the regulations. “It’s not clear it’s going to be viable for many of the patients we have in the state,” Mr. Sayegh said. Assemblyman Richard Gottfried, a Manhattan Democrat, said he was pleased that Governor Cuomo had recognized the “legitimacy” of medical marijuana. But he said that he considered the governor’s plan an interim measure, and that he would continue to push his own bill in the Legislature because it was more comprehensive. Scott Reif, a spokesman for Dean G. Skelos, the leader of the Senate Republicans, who share power with a group of breakaway Democrats, said he would not comment on the governor’s plan until it was officially announced on Wednesday. One potential candidate for medical marijuana would be Susan Rusinko, 52, who lives outside of Syracuse. Ms. Rusinko, the mother of three grown sons, has had multiple sclerosis for 13 years, and she has been smoking marijuana for about 10 of them. Without marijuana, she said, she has uncontrollable spasms. Medication affects her bladder. “So do you take a pill and wet your pants all the time, or do you not take a pill and suffer?” she said. The marijuana has enabled her to get off the couch and do chores, though of course, she said, she would prefer to have access to it from legal sources. Missy Miller would like to try marijuana for her son, Oliver, 14, who has frequent seizures as a result of a brain injury. Ms. Miller, who lives in Atlantic Beach, in Nassau County, said that, out of desperation, she had agreed to put her son on medication that has potentially life-threatening side effects. She wants to try a strain of marijuana grown in Colorado that is said to be particularly effective against pediatric seizures. Her son, who has a feeding tube, could not smoke it, but would take it in some other form. She said she was eager to find out whether the program would apply to children and whether it would provide the specific type of marijuana that Oliver needs. “As a parent I have poured poison into my son that’s F.D.A. approved,” Ms. Miller said. “That’s what I’ve been doing for 14 years and nothing has helped. Here’s the promise of a medication that’s stopping these seizures. It’s working and there are no side effects.” A version of this article appears in print on January 6, 2014, on page A14 of the New York edition with the headline: With Marijuana Access on the Horizon, Patients Fear Potential Restrictions.Source: New York Times (NY)Author:   Anemona HartocollisPublished: January 6, 2014Copyright: 2014 The New York Times CompanyContact: letters nytimes.comWebsite:  Medical Marijuana Archives 
Home Comment Email Register Recent Comments Help 

Comment #1 posted by FoM on January 06, 2014 at 13:26:29 PT
Don't Stop with Medical Marijuana
Krueger to Cuomo: Don't Stop with Medical MarijuanaJanuary 6, 2014Cuomo is planning to use an executive order to legalize medical marijuana for 20 hospitals and for limited diseases, such as cancer.Krueger praised Cuomo's change of heart on medical marijuana, but said he shouldn't stop there."Many of the states that have pursued medical marijuana are now moving toward full tax-and-regulate systems, which are ultimately more practical, fairer, and better for taxpayers. But in the meantime, Gov. Cuomo's proposal is a very positive step," she said in a statement.Krueger plans was rejected by Senate Republicans, who share control of the Senate with a four-member Democratic conference.Copyright: 2014 Rochester Democrat and ChronicleURL:
[ Post Comment ]

Post Comment