Pubdate: Sat, 20 Mar 2010
Source: Daily News, The (Batavia, NY)
Copyright: 2010 Batavia Newspapers Corp
Author: Rebecca Nagel



Twin bills (A. 9016 and S. 4041-B) are currently waiting in the New
York State Legislature for the allotment of safe access to medical
marijuana through state-registered and regulated entities. Legalized
medical marijuana will not only provide comfort to patients with
life-threatening illnesses with minimal side effects, it has the
potential to raise our State's tax revenues with little opposition.

Marijuana reduces pain related to specific medical conditions (such as
Fibromyalgia and HIV/AIDS). In fact, a study published in Neurology
(2007) showed that 52 percent of patients with HIV-associated sensory
neuropathy who smoked marijuana had a greater than 30 percent
reduction in chronic pain. Additionally, marijuana is gauged to be as
or even less addictive than caffeine with significantly fewer side
effects than most chemically manufactured prescription drugs.

The legalization of medical marijuana also holds an economic incentive
for New York State. New York State has a projected debt for the
2011-12 fiscal year of $63.7 billion. If medical marijuana was
legalized, the state would see an estimated increase in tax revenue by
$100 million dollars per year. The taxation of medical marijuana would
also face little opposition. In face, 71 percent of New York voters
believe medical marijuana is a "good idea" compared with 57 percent
who oppose the so-called "fat-tax" proposal on non-diet sugary soft

Not only is the restriction of treatment for chronic illnesses by
medical marijuana in New York State morally perverse, it is also
economically irresponsible and popularly unsupported.

Rebecca Nagel

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