MMJ for Menstrual Cramps Passes First Major Hurdle in New York

Michigan Pushes to Protect Medical Marijuana Dispensaries
Photo by Matthew Staver/For The Washington Post via Getty Images

In a great relief for women who are plagued with menstrual cramps, in other words all women, the New York Assembly Health Committee voted 24-2 to approve a bill to add menstrual cramps as a qualifying condition to the state’s medical marijuana program.

Thank the goddesses, and that includes New York Assemblywoman Linda Rosenthal, who sponsored Assembly Bill 582, and Whoopi Goldberg who threw her support behind it. The bill now heads to the full Assembly for a vote.

“Women have struggled with agonizing periods since the dawn of time, and this legislation is exactly the type of progressive innovation needed to finally bring some relief!”said Assemblywoman Rosenthal in a statement. “Midol cannot be the pinnacle of menstrual cramp treatment. We women demand more; we demand access to pain relieving medication that is safe and effective at relieving menstrual cramps.”

Rosenthal acknowledged the support and attention Whoopi Goldberg brought to the issue.

“Thanks to an incredible partnership with Whoopi Goldberg, we have an amazing chance to make periods less painful across all of New York State,” said Rosenthal.

Goldberg responded with a statement urging legislators and New York Governor Andrew Cuomo to get behind the bill.

“I’m glad to see states like New York starting to get serious about this and when it gets to Gov. Cuomo’s desk we hope he recognizes and champions this conversation, and allows these decisions to be made between patients and their doctor by signing this very important bill Assemblywoman Rosenthal sponsored,” said Goldberg.

Goldberg is co-owner of Whoopi and Maya, a line of medical cannabis products designed specifically to provide relief from menstrual discomfort.

New York State’s MMJ program, one of the most restrictive in the country, covers precious few medical conditions, including cancer, HIV and AIDS, Lou Gehrig’s disease, Parkinson’s and Huntington’s diseases, epilepsy, some spinal cord injuries and multiple sclerosis. Chronic pain was added to the list in December.

A bi-partisan bill that would include PTSD as a qualifying condition passed the Senate Health Committee earlier this month and now awaits approval in the GOP-controlled Senate.

Bill 582 has not yet found a sponsor in the GOP-controlled Senate. But Rosenthal, also an outspoken animal rights activist, isn’t finished yet.

“I am working hard to get that accomplished,” Rosenthal said about the prospects for a vote in the Assembly.

If you live in New York State, please contact your Assembly member.

It’s easy. Look for them here.

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