As More States Legalize Medical Cannabis, New Issues Arise

In the State of New York, a medical marijuana program is scheduled to be fully up and running by the beginning of 2016. This is not to say patients will actually have their prescriptions by New Year’s Day, but they should have them within a few weeks of January 1, 2016 according to a recent article from TWC News.

Thumbnail image for marijuana1.jpgHowever, there is some uncertainty about what will happen. Some are questioning whether there will be enough patients requesting medical marijuana prescriptions to make the program a success. They are also questioning whether enough doctors will be willing to actually issue prescriptions. State lawmakers say that no real estimate of how many medical marijuana patients will be served by the medical cannabis industry, and they are anxious to see what transpires.

The state health commissioner is sure that some patients will sign up for medical marijuana. As our Los Angeles medical marijuana attorneys have seen in the state of California, if the patients have access to legal medication for the first time, they will be willing to speak with their doctors and get a prescription. While doctors are not fully convinced of every medical use claimed by medical marijuana advocates, as there has not been adequate efficacy and safety testing yet, there are some medical conditions that are without a doubt effectively treated by marijuana.

For example, parents of children who suffer from seizure disorders such as epilepsy are beginning to see medical cannabis as a life changing and life saving treatment. Many parents have had every test imaginable and tried every conventional pharmaceutical treatment have had success with medical cannabis. This includes drugs such as Valium and powerful narcotics, such as Clonazepam, to treat and prevent seizures, and parents only end with a sedated child who still has seizures. Medical cannabis on the other hand is a safe, mild, non-addictive treatment that works for many pediatric seizure patients. It should be noted that parents are not having their kids smoke marijuana. They are obtaining medical grade THC in a concentrated liquid that comes in a vial with an eyedropper. Parents can either place a few drops on the child’s tongue or put the drops in a glass of juice or water for the child to drink. This treatment has proven very effective, even when others have not.

It is interesting that some people would be appalled by the idea of giving medical marijuana to a child, but those same people would see nothing wrong with giving powerful and addictive narcotics and benzodiazepines to the same children, even when that treatment is not working. However, it is likely this attitude will change, just as the majority of public opinion in the United States has shifted to supporting the use of medical marijuana. That was certainly not the case a few decades ago, when California took the brave step of legalizing medical marijuana. In the early days, the federal government was still very heavily cracking down on medical marijuana dispensaries and even patients, and people were going to jail. If public opinion and government can change on this issue, the use of medical marijuana for more conditions and younger patients will change eventually, too.

The Los Angeles CANNABIS LAW Group represents growers, dispensaries, collectives, patients and those facing marijuana charges. Call us at 714-937-2050.

Additional Resources:
The Growing Economy: Will Medical Marijuana in New York Lead to Drug Policy Changes?, September 17, 2015, TWC News, by Nick Riesman
More Blog Entries:
Cannabis Less Dangerous Than Heroin, New DEA Chief Concedes, Aug. 2, 2015, Los Angeles Marijuana Lawyer Blog