Yesterday, the New York Assembly Committee on Health held a hearing on a law which would legalize Medical MJ in New York State. I went to show support.
[Note for readers who haven’t been following this issue. This is not the first bill that has been introduced in New York state to allow medical marijuana. Bills have been introduced before; they pass the Assembly and die in the Senate.]
My reintroduction to cannabis came through the California medical marijuana law but the issue of medicinal use is a no brainer for me. I needed no convincing that cannabis had medical benefits.
Because of my ignorance, the testimony at the hearing from caregivers of patients and patients was revealing and moving. The people acting as caregivers who testified did not use marijuana, had never used marijuana and hated the idea of using marijuana[One witness said that he really disliked the smell] and so did the person they were helping. Marijuana was their last resort. And they were there to state that it worked immediately especially for stopping seizures.
The testimony was hard to listen to because of the pain in the voices of the witnesses and for some the shame that they were law breakers. Paradoxically, marijuana is easy to get for recreational use but not for medicinal use.
To give one example, Paula Joana’s daughter died about 2 weeks the age of 18 months from Dravet syndrome, which could have been helped with a specific type of cannabis. Joana is a New Jersey resident; medical marijuana is legal but the procedure for getting a card is so involved that her daughter died before she could complete the process. For all of you out there who believe Chris Christie supports medical marijuana because he didn’t kill the program entirely, the difficulties are deliberate and are there because he wants them there.
I believe that cannabis should be legalized period but I understand that there can be differences of opinion on this point. But I don’t get how anyone [and the number keeps dwindling] could oppose medicinal use of cannabis.