Medical Marijuana for Seriously Ill to be Considered by NY State Health Committee

Press Release December 10, 2002
Media Contact

Vince Marrone, New Yorkers for Compassionate Care at 914-912-0526 or Tony Newman at 510-208-7711

Thousands of New Yorkers have serious medical conditions that may benefit from the medical use of marijuana. It has proven effective at treating illnesses, or the side effects associated with illnesses, such as glaucoma, cancer, HIV/AIDS and seizure disorders. THC, the active ingredient in marijuana, in a synthetic pill form, has been approved by the FDA since 1985. But consuming it in natural form — which many physicians say is more effective — continues to be illegal.

Many otherwise illegal controlled substances are legal for medical use (for example, morphine, Valium and steroids). Eight states have enacted laws making marijuana available for medical use under close physician control. Friday’s public hearing before the State Assembly Committee on Health will consider whether New York should do the same.

WHEN: Friday, December 13, 10 AM

WHERE: 250 Broadway between Murray St.& Park Place — across from City Hall in Manhattan — Assembly Hearing Room, 19th Floor

WHO: Assemblyman Dick Gottfried (D-Manhattan) is the Chair of the Assembly Committee on Health and the sponsor of the proposed medical marijuana bill.

IrvRosenfeld is one of seven patients in the United Statesstill receiving medical marijuana from the federal government under the “Compassionate Care Protocol,” which was available for a brief period in the 1970s. He suffers from Multiple Congenital Cartilaginous Exostosis and a syndrome causing tumors to grow on the ends of his bones. He has been a stockbroker for the last 15 years in Florida.

Lynn Zimmer co-authored Marijuana Myths, Marijuana Facts: A Review of the Scientific Evidence with John P. Morgan, M.D. in 1997 while an Associate Professor of Sociology at QueensCollegeat the City University of New York. She currently suffers from Multiple Sclerosis and knows many patients who have benefited from medical marijuana.

Greg “L”is a graduate student at Eastern Seaboard Seminary. He has been HIV-positive for over 15 years, and experiences nausea and vomiting as side-effects from extensive chemotherapy. He uses marijuana to help with these side effects and to maintain his appetite. He is seeking the help of faith-based ministries to facilitate distribution of medical marijuana to patients.

John Doeis a successful New Yorkbusinessman whose wife uses medical marijuana to help her cope with Multiple Sclerosis. As the sole breadwinner and primary caretaker of his wife, he will testify in disguise out of fear of arrest.

A young woman holds a sign that says "End the Drug War."

Sign up for updates from DPA.