Statement from Drug Policy Alliance's Julie Netherland
Today, New York State Assemblyman Richard Gottfried and Senator Diane Savino introduced a bill that would create one of the nation's most tightly regulated medical marijuana programs.
If passed, New York would join eighteen other states – including New Jersey and Connecticut -- and the District of Columbia in allowing patients with cancer, multiple sclerosis, HIV/AIDS and other serious illnesses to access to medical marijuana under the supervision of their healthcare provider. The entire program, including the registration of patients and the licensing of producers and dispensaries, would be subject to strict state regulation and oversight.
Julie Netherland, the Deputy Director of the Drug Policy Alliance's New York Policy Office, offered this statement:
"Patients and their families in New York have suffered far too long because New York continues its retrograde approach to marijuana policies, even as other states move forward with more sensible approaches. The Drug Policy Alliance stands with hundreds of patients, healthcare providers, and organizations across New York in calling for the legislature to pass this sensible and humane legislation as soon as possible. A growing body of research shows that medical marijuana can be an effective treatment for a number of serious conditions. People living with multiple sclerosis, cancer, Parkinson's, HIV/AIDS and other debilitating conditions should not have to wait any longer to get access to a medicine that may help alleviate their pain and other symptoms. There is simply no sensible reason for patients and their families to wait any longer for relief."