A bipartisan coalition has introduced a bill in the New York State Assembly and Senate simultaneously that would permit use of cannabis for medical purposes by patients who have been certified by a doctor. So far, 18 states have passed similar bills, including New Jersey.
The legislation, known as Bill 6357 in the Assembly, and Bill 4406 in the Senate, still manages to spell marijuana as “marihuana,” the same way it appears on the 1937 Federal Controlled Substances Act, in which it is categorized as a useless and very dangerous substance, the same classification that persists today.
The Voice asked Dr. Sunil K. Aggarwal, M.D., PhD., cannabis expert and resident physician at NYU Medical Center, what he thought about the legislation, and here’s his response:
This bill needs to be passed. Thousands of patients in New York state could benefit from medicinal use of cannabis under a doctor’s supervision. The safety level, the research, and clinical experience in other states are there. Doctors can get rapid CME training at places theanswerpage.com and medicalcannabis.com accredited by the publishers of the NEJM and UCSF. For some conditions like HIV painful neuropathy, inhaled cannabis is the treatment with the best quality of evidence with most benefit.
Next: The text of the Assembly version of the bill, courtesy of NORML’s website.
BILL NO A06357
SAME AS SAME AS S04406
SPONSOR Gottfried (MS)
COSPNSR Lupardo, Cahill, Castro, Clark, Cymbrowitz, Dinowitz, Hevesi, Lavine,
Paulin, Peoples-Stokes, Rosenthal, Stevenson, Titone, Arroyo,
Boyland, Bronson, Brook-Krasny, Cook, Crespo, DenDekker, Espinal,
Fahy, Jaffee, Kavanagh, Lifton, O’Donnell, Otis, Rivera, Roberts,
Skartados, Steck, Weprin, Zebrowski
MLTSPNSR Abinanti, Aubry, Braunstein, Brennan, Farrell, Galef, Glick, Hikind,
Jacobs, Kellner, Lopez V, Magee, Maisel, Markey, McDonald, Millman,
Moya, Pretlow, Robinson, Rodriguez, Scarborough, Schimel, Sweeney,
Add Art 33 Title 5-A SS3360 – 3369-b, amd S3343-a, Pub Health L; add Art 20-B
S490, Tax L; amd S853, Gen Bus L; amd S221.00, Pen L
Legalizes the possession, acquisition, use, delivery, transfer, transport or
administration of marihuana by a certified patient or designated caregiver for
a certified medical use; prescribes procedures for such possession,
acquisition, etc. including certification of patients by their practitioner,
and that, in the practitioner’s professional judgment, the serious condition
should be treated with the medical use of marihuana; provides that possession
or acquisition of marihuana shall be lawful under these provisions provided
that the marihuana possessed does not exceed a total aggregate weight of two
and a half ounces; directs the department of health to monitor such use and
promulgate rules and regulations for registry identification cards; provides
for reports by the department of health to the governor and legislature on the
medical use of marihuana.