Recently, The State Has Taken Steps To Help Thousands More By Expanding Access And Bringing More Competition To Its Medical Marijuana Program.

New York must further expand its medical marijuana program With tight restrictions and few dispensaries, patients’ access to relief still falls short When Gov. Andrew Cuomo and state legislators legalized medical marijuana in New York three years ago, they took a bold step to bring relief to thousands of New Yorkers suffering from chronic illness. Recently, the state has taken steps to help thousands more by expanding access and bringing more competition to its medical marijuana program. For people who depend on medical marijuana to make it through every day, as I do, it is crucial that these leaders expand on their good work, even in the face of a loud few opponents. After a lifetime of active living, at 54 years old I was diagnosed with a connective tissue disorder called Ehlers-Danlos. To make matters worse, I was diagnosed with sarcoidosis the following year. The condition causes my lungs to develop enlarged lymph nodes and granulomas, which can spread at any time and can be fatal. Opioids are not a pain-relief option for me because my body is unable to metabolize them, so I would Medical marijuana not be able to function without cannabis-based medication. As an advocate for patients like me who live with chronic pain, I was delighted when New York launched its medical marijuana program. Although I understood why the state imposed tight restrictions on the types of marijuana medications that could be prescribed and who could receive, manufacture and dispense them, I knew the number of patients who would benefit would be limited. But as happened in other states, New York learned along the way, and after thoughtful analysis made improvements that will greatly increase access.

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