MEDICAL SOCIETY OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK
865 Merrick Avenue, Westbury, New York 11590-9007
Telephone: (516) 488-6100
February 15, 2019
For Immediate Release
MSSNY Statement on Legalization of Cannabis Public Hearing
Statement attributable to:
Thomas Madejski, MD
President, Medical Society of the State of New York
“Wednesday’s legislative public hearing on legalization of cannabis provided valuable insight into the comprehensive Executive Budget proposal to enable the legalization of “adult use” or “recreational” marijuana. Importantly, Governor Cuomo’s staff emphasized the need for significant funding to be allocated for education and public health awareness campaigns to prevent inappropriate use. We note that the Budget proposal contains strict advertising restrictions.
However, the discussion has not eased the significant concerns with this proposal within New York’s physician community. The recently announced report from the CDC that 2018 saw the largest single-year increase in youth tobacco ever recorded—driven by adolescents who reported using e-cigarettes—is alarming. How will we ensure that legally purchased cannabis doesn’t get into the hands of children, similar to e-cigarettes? What measures will be taken to prevent a person from stockpiling marijuana from multiple dispensaries, and then reselling it illegally? We are urging caution, and anticipation by which these proposed laws could be evaded.
Furthermore, we continue to be very concerned about the possibility of significantly increased drugged driving, threatening pedestrians and other drivers. Of particular concern is that the ability for law enforcement to detect marijuana use while driving is tenuous at best, with no reliable breathalyzer or on-the-scene testing tool yet available.
We must continue to carefully review data from states that have legalized marijuana regarding the public health implications for its residents. Moreover, we need more research into the efficacy of marijuana for treating a multitude of health conditions faced by our patients, which is why we are supportive of efforts to require the federal Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) to re-classify marijuana out of Schedule 1 (which means no medicinal benefit).
We look forward to continued constructive discussion with the Legislature and the Governor’s office on this issue.”
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About the Medical Society of the State of New York
Founded in 1807, the Medical Society of the State of New York is the state’s principal non-profit professional organization for physicians, residents and medical students of all specialties. Its mission is to represent the interests of patients and physicians to assure quality healthcare services for all.
Medical Society of the State of New York
865 Merrick Ave.
Westbury, New York
516.488.6100 x 302