Medical marijuana: the political

Diane Savino is the New York State Senate sponsor for the medical marijuana bill. Credit: Office of Senator Diane Savino.
Diane Savino is the New York State Senate sponsor for the medical marijuana bill. Credit: Office of Senator Diane Savino.

New York State Senator Diane Savino had been a co-sponsor of the New York state medical marijuana bill since she first joined the Senate, and credits her interest in the cause to the “thousands and thousands of New Yorkers who suffer from chronic, debilitating conditions like multiple-sclerosis, epilepsy, diabetes, and cancer.”

“Unfortunately for them, the options that are available to them are high addictive, very deadly narcotics—oxycodone, vicodin, ativan,” she listed. “[These drugs are] a lot more damaging to you than marijuana but because of the laws in New York state, they can’t sit down with their doctor and come up with the best treatment plan for them.”

Savino said the New York bill would be the most regulated marijuana statute in the country.

“California is the worst model, there it’s like the Wild West, literally,” she said. “There’s almost no regulation, there’s almost no discernment on the part of medical professionals [about] who should and shouldn’t have marijuana.”

“It’s exactly the opposite of what we want in New York,” she added.

The way Savino describes it, legalizing marijuana could even be a profitable endeavor for the state.

“We want to license it, we want to tax it, we want to derive a significant amount of revenue from it,” she said.

Savino said there would be a licensing fee imposed upon growers and dispensers, and an excise tax that has yet to be determined.

As for whether medical marijuana will be available to veterans suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, a potential use floated by advocacy group the New York Cannabis Alliance, Savino said she’s “not sure.”

“I don’t believe we’re listing that,” she said. “Unfortunately, unlike other drugs, which are regulated by the Food and Drug Administration, marijuana is still going to be considered illegal by the federal government, so we have to list specific conditions.”

Savino said that public opinion is a factor in how restrictive the criteria in the bill is.

“Unfortunately the public is a little leery about what this substance could be used for, so we have to proceed a little bit carefully,” she explained.

But the senator said she knows this legislation is vitally important to many New Yorkers.

Savino said she gets letters and phone calls not just from her own constituents, but from “people all over the state who have been living in pain, and if they just lived across one of the three bridges that connect us to New Jersey, they would have that option [to use medical marijuana].”

“Unfortunately, some people aren’t going to live long enough to avail themselves of this options, but for those people that are, we have to move,” Savino said.

The senator hopes to have a vote on the bill before the end of the legislative session.

Medical marijuana: the personal

Medical marijuana: a doctor’s perspective

 

Follow Danielle Tcholakian on Twitter @danielleiat



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

After Eric Garner death, religious leaders meet to…

Interfaith leaders convened with city officials to discuss what the community can do to help dial down heightened tensions after Eric Garner's death.

Local

'Suspicious' Hamilton Heights fire caused by power strip:…

An extension cord overload caused the deadly fire in Hamilton Heights late Monday that killed a 15-year-old girl and injured at least 12 others.

National

At 91, Marvel creator Stan Lee continues to…

By Piya Sinha-RoyLOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Marvel Entertainment's chief emeritus Stan Lee may be in his ninth decade, but it hasn't stopped him from adding…

National

Islamic State says beheads U.S. journalist, holds another

Islamic State insurgents released a video purportedly showing the beheading of U.S. journalist James Foley, who had gone missing in Syria nearly two years ago.

Movies

Review: Sadly, Matthew Weiner's 'Are You Here' is…

"Mad Men" creator Matthew Weiner tries his hand at movies with "Are You Here," a misjudged Owen Wilson-Zach Galifianakis comedy that turns into a drama.

Movies

Review: 'Love is Strange' is not only a…

John Lithgow and Alfred Molina tie the knot in "Love is Strange," but the film winds up being more about living with people than an activist picture.

Movies

Frank Miller on writing 'Sin City'

Frank Miller's comics career is a long and storied one, with "Sin City" being one of his most individual creations. Here, in his own words,…

Movies

Interview: Jessica Alba is a stripper again in…

Jessica Alba has gotten used to vague phone calls from director Robert Rodriguez, the Austin-based auteur who has made a habit of putting Alba into…

NFL

2014 Fantasy Football: Rankings, list of top NFL…

2014 Fantasy Football: Rankings, list of top NFL defense (DEF)

NFL

2014 Fantasy Football: Rankings, list of top NFL…

2014 Fantasy Football: Rankings, list of top NFL quarterbacks (QB)

MLB

Shane Greene travels unlikely road to Yankees stardom

Shane Greene was throwing a bullpen session on a quiet field at Daytona Beach Community College one day when the ball started moving.

NFL

2014 Fantasy Football: Rankings, list of top NFL…

2014 Fantasy Football: Rankings, list of top NFL tight ends (TE)

Wellbeing

Metabolic syndrome could have a sugar link

Scientists in St. Louis may have found another culprit in metabolic syndrome, which can lead to heart disease and type 2 diabetes.  Uric acid is…

Wellbeing

Another way stress hurts your unborn baby

Mothers know to try staying calm during pregnancy, as stress has been linked to behavioral and developmental problems for their babies. But now, a new…

Tech

Siren: A new dating app that puts women…

Online dating can be brutal, especially for single women. Noting that many women hate wading through inappropriate messages and photos, two tech entrepreneurs decided to…

Wellbeing

What eye symptoms need emergency attention?

Many people experience temporary eye-related problems such as pink eye (conjunctivitis) from a cold virus or a scratched cornea resulting from an object coming into…