glenn blain

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New York: Patients Can Now Register For Medical Marijuana, But Good Luck Getting It


By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

New York's medical marijuana law passed in 2014, but it's still unclear when ailing patients might be able to actually obtain any cannabis.

State health department officials claim the program is on track to open this month, which is when the 2014 legislation stipulated, reports Glenn Blain at the New York Daily News. But officials have been silent on the exact launch date, and haven't indicated the number or locations of doctors certified to authorize medicinal cannabis.

"I have significant concerns about the implementation of the program and how successful it will be, especially from a patient access standpoint," said Julie Netherland of the Drug Policy Alliance (DPA).

According to Netherland, the New York Health Department waited until mid-October to offer the online certification course required for doctors who wish to prescribe medical marijuana, and didn't begin accepting registration requests from patients until late December. Those don't seem like actions of an agency that is particularly concerned about opening in January.

New York state law requires that patients seeking medical marijuana must first be certified by a state-approved physician, and then register with the Health Department and obtain a registry identification card before being allowed to purchase cannabis from one of five licensed growers operating in New York.

New York: Advocates Say Medical Marijuana Could Be Legalized This Spring


By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

It's been a tough fight in New York for medical marijuana. Time after time, advocates and patients believed they were on the brink of victory, only to be disappointed. But medicinal cannabis may finally be a dream that is coming true in the Empire State, and the change may come soon, according to advocates.

Pointing to favorable opinion polls and an evolving position from the office of Gov. Andrew Cuomo, proponents believe a new medical marijuana bill will be approved in Albany this spring, making New York the 22nd medical marijuana state, reports Glenn Blain at the New York Daily News.

"We're closer to this than we have ever been before," said gabriel sayegh of the Drug Policy Alliance (DPA).

Advocates have revised the bill to more tightly control how marijuana can be used, and who gets to use it. The new version, introduced on Friday, removed language that gave doctors the freedom to authorize medical marijuana for a wide array of symptoms.

The new version limits pot's use to about 20 serious conditions, including cancer, traumatic brain injury, AIDS, Parkinson's disease, multiple sclerosis and post-traumatic stress disorder. It also prevents anyone under 21 from being able to smoke marijuana for medicinal purposes, though they could be authorized to use other forms of cannabis, such as tincture or capsules.

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