Pubdate: Sat, 12 Apr 2014
Source: Saratogian, The (NY)
Copyright: 2014 The Saratogian
Author: Lawrence Goodwin


Alan Chartock's recent argument that New York lawmakers are "stuck in 
cement" regarding medical cannabis is completely true. But Mr. 
Chartock, unfortunately, gives readers the impression that cannabis 
is only helpful to people who are dying. That is flat-out wrong.

Opponents of the proposed Compassionate Care Act, the legislative 
fruit of more than 17 years' work by Assemblyman Richard Gottfried, 
D-Manhattan, aim to deny a natural remedy that could alleviate pain 
and discomfort among hundreds of thousands of sick New Yorkers. 
People enduring all types of cancer, multiple sclerosis, Crohn's 
disease, PTSD and numerous other ailments support the Compassionate Care Act.

Recently, it has been well documented by Dr. Sanjay Gupta, chief 
medical correspondent for CNN, that cannabis dramatically reduces the 
number of seizures in young children diagnosed with various types of 
epilepsy. Gupta reports that cannabidiol (CBD), one of many medically 
useful compounds in cannabis plants, helps to stop seizures in these 
kids, which is critical early-on to avoid permanent brain damage.

For more than 90 years, between 1850 and the 1930s, cannabis was 
commonly prescribed by doctors for medical problems. Then an 
aggressive federal "marijuana" prohibition began, eliminating 
cannabis from the U.S. pharmacopoeia - the official list of 
medications available to doctors.

It's time for lawmakers to face the facts and re-legalize medical 
cannabis. Too many New Yorkers are suffering needlessly without safe 
and legal access to these highly beneficial plants.

Lawrence Goodwin Milton
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