Letter: Ease medical marijuana laws

The Feb. 23 editorial, “Revisit medical marijuana,” should’ve held Gov. Andrew Cuomo and federal lawmakers more accountable for perpetuating irrational policies toward cannabis plants.

Many advocates who worked so hard to pass the 2014 Compassionate Care Act blame Mr. Cuomo alone for strictly limiting public access to medical cannabis.

The governor means well to prohibit marijuana smoking for medical purposes, which is legal in other states. Lighting any dried plant material on fire and inhaling the smoke risks damage to lung tissue, so recommending it would violate an oath taken by medical professionals to do no harm.

New York could address that by welcoming innovative companies to market much safer electronic vaporizers instead of marijuana joints and blunts.

The larger problem is that Mr. Cuomo insists on dictating which medical conditions qualify and allowing only five cannabis growers and 20 dispensaries in our state. He seems to be motivated by the same cannabis paranoia that has blocked progress at the federal level for decades. The federal Schedule I classification of “marihuana” in the 1970 Controlled Substances Act makes the absurd claim that cannabis flowers have “no accepted medical use.” That is contradicted by an abundance of scientific evidence, plus the fact that New York is the 23rd state since 1996 to enact a medical marijuana program.

To read more: http://www.timesunion.com/tuplus-opinion/article/Letter-Ease-medical-marijuana-laws-6863982.php

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