New York Governor Andrew Cuomo Calls for Marijuana to be Legalized

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo today called for marijuana to be legalized in his state as part of a “true justice agenda”.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo (photo; Reuters).

“Let’s legalize the adult use of recreational marijuana once and for all,” said Cuomo. He said that he plans to push for the measure within 100 days, reports NBC New York. Cuomo didn’t provide a specific timeline for when he believes legalization would become a reality.

Cuomo’s comments marks the first time he’s ever stated support for legalizing marijuana; he shied away from the issue almost entirely during his first two terms (he won reelection last month), and once referred to cannabis as a “gateway drug”. In July he said that the “situation on marijuana is changing”, which was the first indication that he may eventually support legalization as he now says he does.

Read moreNew York Governor Andrew Cuomo Calls for Marijuana to be Legalized

New York Assembly Votes to Seal Over 800,000 Marijuana Convictions

New York’s Assembly has passed legislation that would allow for hundreds of thousands of people to have their marijuana conviction sealed from their record.

Assembly Bill 2142 would seal the conviction of those arrested for the simple possession of marijuana in public view. This would make such charges not appear on criminal background checks. This would effect over 800,000 people charged over the past 20 years.

A companion measure in the Senate (SB 03809) recently passed the Codes Committee and is currently in the Judiciary Committee. If the Senate approves the companion measure, it will be sent to the Assembly.  If the Senate passes the Assembly-approved measure, it will be sent to Governor Andrew Cuomo for consideration. Cuomo would then have the option of signing it into law, allowing it to become law without a signature, or veto it.

Read moreNew York Assembly Votes to Seal Over 800,000 Marijuana Convictions

Study: Medical Marijuana Improves Quality of Life, Reduces Opioid Use, Leads to Cost Savings

Using medical cannabis results in improved quality of life, reduced opiod use, and cost savings from reduced prescription drug purchases, according to a new study of patients enrolled in New York’s medical cannabis program.

“Medical cannabis (MC) is commonly claimed to be an effective treatment for chronic or refractory pain”, begins the study’s abstract. “With interest in MC in the United States growing, as evidenced by the 29 states and 3 US districts that now have public MC programs, the need for clinical evidence supporting this claim has never been greater.”

With this in mind, researchers at the University at Buffalo School of Pharmacy and GPI Clinical Research conducted a “retrospective, mirror-image study that investigated MC’s effectiveness in patients suffering from chronic pain associated with qualifying conditions for MC in New York State.” The primary outcome “was to compare European Quality of Life 5 Dimension Questionnaire (EQ-5D) and Pain Quality Assessment Scale (PQAS) scores at baseline and 3 months post-therapy.” The secondary outcomes “included comparisons of monthly analgesic prescription costs and opioid consumption pre- and post-therapy.” Tolerability was assessed by side effect incidence.

Read moreStudy: Medical Marijuana Improves Quality of Life, Reduces Opioid Use, Leads to Cost Savings

New York Legislature Approves Measure to Allow Medical Marijuana for PTSD

A bipartisan proposal to add post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) as a qualifying medical marijuana condition in New York has been passed by the state’s legislature and sent to Governor Andrew Cuomo for consideration.

The Senate passed Senate Bill 5629 today with a 50 to 13 vote. The Assembly version of the measure, Assembly Bill 7006, was passed in May with an overwhelming 131 to 8 vote. The legislation allows those with PTSD to legally purchase, possess and use medical cannabis, given they receive a recommendation from a physician and register with the state.

“State lawmakers are standing up for thousands of New Yorkers who are suffering from PTSD and might benefit from medical marijuana,” said Kate Bell, legislative counsel for the Marijuana Policy Project. “We hope Gov. Cuomo will do the same and sign this important legislation. With a single swipe of his pen, he can help countless people find relief.”

Read moreNew York Legislature Approves Measure to Allow Medical Marijuana for PTSD

Medical Cannabis for PTSD Bill Passed by New York Assembly

Legislation to expand New York’s medical cannabis program has been given approval by New York’s Assembly.

Assembly Bill 7006, sponsored by a bipartisan coalition of 36 Assemblymembers (30 Democrats and 6 Republicans), has received approval from the full Assembly. It will now be sent to the Senate, where passage would send it to Governor Andrew Cuomo for consideration.

The proposed law would add post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) to New York’s list of qualifying medical cannabis conditions. This would allow those with the condition to legally purchase, possess and use cannabis and cannabis products, given they receive a recommendation from a physician and register with the state.

Read moreMedical Cannabis for PTSD Bill Passed by New York Assembly

New York Committee Votes Unanimously to Allow Medical Marijuana for PTSD

A key legislative committee in New York has voted to add post traumatic stress disorder to the state’s list of qualifying medical marijuana conditions.

Assembly Bill 7006 was passed yesterday by the Assembly Health Committee with a unanimous 26 to 0 vote. The proposal is sponsored by a bipartisan coalition of 36 Assemblymembers (30 Democrats and 6 Republicans). The measure must now be passed by a second committee before it can be scheduled for a vote by the full Assembly.

Both Assembly Bill 7006 and its companion legislation Senate Bill 5629 would allow those with PTSD to legally purchase, possess and use cannabis and cannabis medicines if they receive a recommendation from a physician and become registered with the state as a medical cannabis patient.

Read moreNew York Committee Votes Unanimously to Allow Medical Marijuana for PTSD

Chronic Pain Now a Medical Cannabis Condition in New York

As of today, chronic pain is a qualifying medical cannabis condition in New York.

Chronic PainThe change brought forth by New York’s Health Department allows those with chronic pain to legally possess and use cannabis medicines if they receive a recommendation from a physician and register with the state. This would allow them to access one of the state’s medical cannabis dispensaries.

“After conducting a thorough review of the scientific literature it became clear that there may be certain benefits in the use of medical marijuana by patients suffering from chronic pain”; Health Commissioner Howard Zucker said when the department first announced the change in December. “Medical marijuana is already helping thousands of patients across New York State; and adding chronic pain as a qualifying condition will help more patients and further strengthen the program.”

Read moreChronic Pain Now a Medical Cannabis Condition in New York

Legislation to Legalize Marijuana Filed in New York

Companion measures that would legalize the recreational use of marijuana for those 21 and older have been filed in New York’s House and Senate.

Senate Bill 3040 and Assembly Bill 3506 would legalize the possession and use of up to two ounces of cannabis for those 21+. The limit would be twice as much as allowed in most legal cannabis states like Colorado where the max is one ounce, but would be less than Maine’s new law that allows 2.5 ounces.

The proposals would also allow for the personal cultivation of up to six cannabis plants, and would establish a licensed, regulated and taxed system of cannabis retail outlets and cultivation centers.

Read moreLegislation to Legalize Marijuana Filed in New York

New York to Add Chronic Pain as Qualifying Medical Cannabis Condition

New York’s Health Department has announced that chronic pain will soon become a qualifying medical cannabis condition.

Chronic PainOnce the change takes effect chronic pain will become the most far-reaching medical cannabis condition in the state in terms of the number of people it effects.

“After conducting a thorough review of the scientific literature it became clear that there may be certain benefits in the use of medical marijuana by patients suffering from chronic pain”; Health Commissioner Howard Zucker said in press release. “Medical marijuana is already helping thousands of patients across New York State, and adding chronic pain as a qualifying condition will help more patients and further strengthen the program.”

Read moreNew York to Add Chronic Pain as Qualifying Medical Cannabis Condition

New York to Allow Nurse Practitioners, Physician Assistants to Recommend Medical Cannabis

Physician AssistantsNew York’s Department of Health has announced that it has filed amendments to the state’s medical cannabis law that would allow nurse practitioners and physician assistants to recommend medical cannabis. This will greatly increase the number of people in the state eligible to certify patients for medical cannabis use.

“Authorizing nurse practitioners and physician assistants to certify patients will only help to further strengthen the program and improve patient access,” says State Health Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker. He says the department is also considering adding chronic pain as a qualifying medical cannabis condition; a decision on that is expected by the end of the month.

Read moreNew York to Allow Nurse Practitioners, Physician Assistants to Recommend Medical Cannabis