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New York Physicians for Compassionate Care

Statement from Co-Chairs

New York Physicians for Compassionate Care represents more than 650 physicians across New York who believe that doctors should not be punished for recommending the medical use of marijuana to seriously ill patients and that seriously ill people should not be criminalized for using medical marijuana if their physicians recommend that such use  may be beneficial.

Twenty three states and the District Columbia have passed laws creating legal access to medical marijuana for seriously ill patients, and our medical colleagues in every state bordering New York — except Pennsylvania — have the ability to recommend this effective and safe treatment for their patients. A growing body of scientific evidence, including gold-standard randomized, double-blinded, placebo-controlled trials, has made clear that medical marijuana is safe and effective in controlling chronic pain, alleviating nausea and vomiting associated with chemotherapy, treating wasting syndrome associated with HIV/AIDS, controlling muscle spasms due to multiple sclerosis, and managing epilepsy. Emerging evidence also suggests that medical marijuana may help patients living with cancer, Parkinson’s, and other chronic and debilitating illnesses. Moreover, compared to other prescription medications, medical cannabis is a relatively safe, having no known lethal dose, few side effects, and few contraindications.

As physicians, we want the ability to offer our patients every possible treatment that might improve their health, alleviate their suffering, or improve their quality of life — that includes recommending the use of medical marijuana.

New York’s medical marijuana law has careful, strict controls that will ensure access to patients who could truly benefit from medical marijuana, while preventing diversion and misuse. In fact, under the new law, medical marijuana will be more tightly regulated than any other medication, including more dangerous medications that are routinely prescribed.

Denying patients access to a medication that can relieve their suffering is cruel, and forcing them to break the law is simply wrong. The passage of New York’s medical marijuana law will finally allow us to best serve our patients.

Chair, Howard Grossman, MD
Vice-chair, Sunil Aggarwal, MD, PhD

For information on how you can join New York Physicians for Compassionate Care, email us at [email protected] or call 347-781-5435.

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