Continuing his record of craven political dickery with respect to sensible drug policy, Governor Cuomo said this morning that he would not sign a current version of the medical marijuana legislation working its way through Albany because it involves smoking marijuana. "This is supposed to be for serious diseases," Cuomo said on WCNY. "This isn't supposed to have loopholes that you can drive a truck through, right?"
On yesterday's WCNY show, Cuomo also questioned the amount of marijuana the law would allow patients to possess.
"Two and a half ounces of marijuana per month, that's about 150 joints, could be as many as 200 joints per month. You know, we're talking about a lot of marijuana distributed to individuals."
When pressed by the host Susan Arbetter on whether it's merely the language of "smoking" that concerns the Governor, or whether he'd rather see patients using a different form of ingestion altogether, Cuomo replied, "Smoking or not smoking, you don't need a lot of language to discuss that….This is not about commas and dotting 'i's and crossing 't's. We don't have a conceptual agreement."
Perhaps the Working Families Party-endorsed candidate doesn't have a conceptual grasp of how medical marijuana works.
The Lancet Neurology and the American College of Physicians both deemed smoking to be the most effective and fast-acting form of administering THC to patients. The vast majority of the research concerning medical marijuana involves smoking the plant.
"Prohibiting medical cannabis smoking would only make medical marijuana patients' lives more difficult," the Marijuana Policy Project said in a statement. "For many patients, it is the best mode of administration. Vaporizing also allows nearly immediate relief, but good vaporizers can be very expensive and difficult for some patients to use. Smoking marijuana doesn’t cause lung cancer, and the dangers of smoking marijuana pale in comparison to smoking cigarettes."
For the record, government-issued marijuana cigarettes contain 0.8 grams of cannabis, a dose that is generally accepted to be sufficient for most ailments. Cuomo's joints would contain .35 grams of marijuana each.
Nearly four years ago, Irvin Rosenfeld, one of the few federal medical marijuana patients alive, smoked his 115,000th joint. Rosenfeld suffers from a rare kind of bone cancer, and smokes 10 to 12 joints a day from his supply of 300 every 25 days.
This afternoon, a group of legislators from both houses said they were making progress on Cuomo's demands—which involve stripping more diseases from the list of those that can be treated and placing the authority to grant more in the hands of the Health Commissioner, who is controlled by the Governor—but declined to go into specifics.