Pubdate: Thu, 18 Nov 2010
Source: Times Union (Albany, NY)
Copyright: 2010 Capital Newspapers Division of The Hearst Corporation
Author: Mitch Earleywine


Thanks for your coverage of Arizona's new medical marijuana law.

This legislation makes Arizona the 15th state to help the sick and 
dying handle their symptoms without having to turn to an illegal 
underground market for medicine. Too bad New Yorkers can't make the 
same choice.

We now have literally thousands of studies of marijuana's safety and 
medical effects. This research documents the plant's ability to 
improve the lives of those with chronic pain, HIV, cancer, sleep 
problems and a host of other ailments.

The Arizona law requires that patients obtain a physician's 
recommendation and register with a state program. The law limits the 
number of dispensaries and regulates how much medicine patients can 
possess. It also limits the frequency of their purchases. Of course, 
every purchase is taxed, providing extra cash for needed programs.

Comparable laws in other states have led to no increases, and 
sometimes small decreases, in teen marijuana use.

Surely citizens of New York deserve the same rights as those in 
Arizona, Alaska, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Maine, Michigan, 
Montana, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, Oregon, Rhode Island, 
Vermont, Washington, and the District of Columbia.

Mitch Earleywine, Ph.D.

Professor of Psychology

University at Albany

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