New York is well on its way to becoming the 23rd US state to legalise medical marijuana. Politicians have given the green light on a medical marijuana programme for the state, paving the way for thousands of residents to receive pain relief treatment for illnesses such as cancer, AIDS, glaucoma and multiple sclerosis.
New Yorkers shouldn't rush to get prescriptions for their "migraine" yet. It seems that the bill will be severely restrictive: smoking it will still be a no-go and access to the plant in its raw form will remain prohibited. Instead, patients will have to ingest it as food or through vaporization, oils or pills.
Gabriel Sayegh of the Drug Policy Alliance, which campaigns for marijuana legalisation, expressed his mixed feelings about the bill: "New York has finally done something significant for thousands of patients who are suffering and need relief now. They will benefit from this compromise. That said, this is not the bill we wanted."
"We are disappointed to learn that eligible conditions have been limited, and despite strong medical evidence about the benefits of smoked and raw cannabis, leaders decided to exclude this as an option for doctors and patients in New York."
New York has a long way to catch up to Colorado, where weed entreprenuerialism is booming – as evidenced by two 19-year-olds from Seattle who have recently set up Canary, a self-described "Uber for marijuana" app that delivers the drug to your door. Although it's not lagging as far behind as the UK, where cannabis remains a Class B drug. Do you think we'll ever see medical marijuana in Britain?
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