‘Pot for Periods’ Bill Advances in New York

(Darrin Harris Frisby/Drug Policy Alliance)

ALBANY, NY — A bill that would allow women suffering from severe menstrual cramps access to medical marijuana in New York has been given preliminary committee approval, sending the measure to the floor of the Assembly for consideration.

The New York Assembly Health Committee approved Assembly Bill 582, which would add dysmenorrhea as a qualifying medical marijuana condition, by a 21-2 vote following a hearing last month.

Dysmenorrhea is recurring pain and discomfort experienced monthly by many women during menstruation.  In severe cases, this pain can be debilitating, further limiting a woman’s ability to perform daily activities.

Many women have found that medical marijuana can help alleviate many of the painful effects of dysmenorrhea.

“Not only will this improve women’s wellness and productivity during menstruation, but it will also advance New York State in one of the country’s fastest-growing industries,” says Assemblymember Linda Rosenthal (D-Manhattan), the sponsor of the bill.

“This is a woman’s health issue and for years women have suffered in silence. There’s Midol. You can take Advil, but really nothing more,” Rosenthal added.

Rosenthal is a leading advocate for women in the New York Assembly, successfully passing a measure last year which exempted feminine hygiene products from state and local sales tax.

New York currently allows medical marijuana to treat Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS); cancer, chronic pain, epilepsy, HIV/AIDS, Huntington’s disease, inflammatory bowel disease, Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, neuropathies and spinal cord damage.

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