Zack Seward

New York Gov. Doesn’t Know His State’s MMJ Law is Broken

Since its launch in January, the New York medical marijuana program has faced heavy criticism from patient and industry advocates for being too limited. However, in a surprising display of ignorance, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo told reporters on Wednesday that he was unaware of any concerns over the state’s restricted and controversial medical cannabis program, The Journal News reports.

“I haven’t heard issues that people can’t find access,” Cuomo told reporters in Buffalo. “You don’t have one on every corner because you don’t have that kind of demand. But if you need the drug, you can get the drug.”

A recent survey of New York’s medical marijuana patients and caregivers by the Drug Policy Alliance unearthed serious flaws in the program. In their scathing report, the DPA found the program was plagued by unaffordable medicine and “overall inaccessibility.” Among the top concerns are an ongoing dearth of doctors who are qualified to recommend cannabis to patients, and a lack of information for patients who are seeking marijuana-friendly doctors.

“This should be something that [Gov. Cuomo] is aware of,” said Sen. Diane Savino (D), who has sponsored many of the state’s past marijuana measures. “Now that I know he isn’t aware of it, I’m going to make sure he knows.”

Meanwhile, New York Assemblyman Richard Gottfried (D) and other advocates worked up to the deadline in an effort to reform the program on behalf of struggling patients, but the session ended last week without any legislative action taken towards fixing the program.

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