Tag Archives: medical marijuana

Albany shouldn’t play doctor

New York’s medical marijuana program is a step in the right direction, but the regulations involved will inhibit patients’ access to medicine, and leave New Yorkers asking, “What are lawmakers in Albany smoking?”

The problems start with the requirement that Albany play doctor. There are 10 approved ailments, including cancer, HIV and AIDS, Parkinson’s, multiple sclerosis, inflammatory bowel disease, and epilepsy, for which marijuana can be prescribed.

At the bottom of this short list is the phrase “any other condition added by the [Commissioner of Health].” But why should a single person have sole responsibility for determining what ailments can be treated with medical marijuana?

The current health commissioner, Howard A. Zucker, may be a doctor, but the problem is he’s not your doctor. When you’re sick or need a physical, you don’t go see the commissioner; you see your own doctor. Your doctor knows your personal circumstances, which can only be gained through meeting and talking to you. Your doctor is in a better position to recommend treatments than the commissioner will ever be. The commissioner also doesn’t know your medical history and he’s incapable of monitoring your reaction to a particular drug.

Who does this hurt the most? The patients who are unable to receive treatment because their illness is not on the list.

The law, much less a single bureaucrat, should not be responsible for deciding what should be prescribed to a sick patient.

More problems arise from Albany deciding who gets to grow medical marijuana and who doesn’t. All interested applicants must first pay a nonrefundable application fee of $10,000. On top of that, there’s a registration fee of $200,000.

That means that if you’re looking to grow and sell medical marijuana in New York, it will cost you $210,000. If you want to keep growing in New York, you’ll have to pay that same amount every two years when your license expires.

Read the full article at the Albany Times Union ($).

Young Voices Podcast – Medical Marijuana and PTSD

The latest Young Voices podcast features Daniel Takash and Daniel Pryor. Today they will be discussing Daniel’s recent Denver Post article, which makes the case for allowing doctors to recommend medical marijuana as a potential treatment for PTSD.

If you’re interested in exploring this issue further, visit Veterans For Compassionate Care and the Marijuana Policy Project.

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Pot should be option for PTSD sufferers

Critics of medical marijuana won a victory when the Colorado Board of Health voted 6-2 against adding PTSD to the list of approved conditions for the state’s medical marijuana program.

The arguments against adding PTSD to the list of approved conditions are not without merit. There is evidence that heavy marijuana use is correlated with the development of anxiety disorders and schizophrenia, and can exacerbate the effects of these conditions, particularly for people with a genetic predisposition.

Even so, the negative effects of marijuana use on some, or even most patients with PTSD does not merit a complete ban on its use for medical purposes.

All patients are different and respond differently to various treatments, so it’s important to give doctors and patients the flexibility they need. To a certain degree this flexibility already exists; doctors regularly prescribe medications off-label to treat conditions not intended by the FDA.

This is why right-to-try laws are so valuable, and not just to terminally ill patients. Healthcare professionals need as many treatment options as possible to fulfill their obligations under the Hippocratic oath, to “apply, for the benefit of the sick, all measures which are required”.

And there is significant evidence of medical marijuana’s success in treating PTSD. A 2014 study examined New Mexico’s medical marijuana patients with PTSD. It found a significant decline in symptoms related to PTSD for patients treated with marijuana.

Read the rest at the Denver Post here.