Pubdate: Fri, 27 Apr 2012
Source: Times Union (Albany, NY)
Copyright: 2012 Capital Newspapers Division of The Hearst Corporation
Author: Mitch Earleywine


To the editor

Thanks for covering Gov. Andrew Cuomo's latest efforts to keep the 
state behind the times by preventing ill people from getting medicine 
("Cuomo: Medical marijuana won't pass this year," April 10).

His latest idea - that medical marijuana needs further study - defies 
a 5,000-year history of safety for the plant as well as compelling 
research on chronic pain, headache, spasticity and AIDS-related 
wasting as well as loss of appetite and weight loss due to cancer chemotherapy.

It would take little effort to adopt a law that requires patients to 
obtain a physician's recommendation and register with a state 
program. The law could set limits on the number of dispensaries and 
regulate how much medicine patients can possess. It could also limit 
the frequency of their purchases. Of course, every purchase could be 
taxed, providing extra cash for needed programs.

Comparable laws in other states have led to no increases and 
sometimes small decreases in teenage marijuana use. Cuomo and his 
crew have sorted out thornier issues in less time than we have left 
in the current legislative session.

It is unconscionable to think that citizens in Alaska, Arizona, 
California, Colorado, Delaware, Hawaii, Maine, Michigan, Montana, 
Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, 
Washington and the District of Columbia have a right to medical care 
that New Yorkers don't.


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