Pubdate: Wed, 16 Apr 2014
Source: Record, The (Troy, NY)
Copyright: 2014 The Record
Author: Lawrence Goodwin
Page: A6


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,
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder 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, or 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

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 relegalize 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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