A New York State Supreme Court judge out of Brooklyn is generating buzz because of his public appeal to legalize medical marijuana, as outlined in an opinion piece that he wrote for The New York Times. The plea from Judge Gustin Reichbach to the New York State Legislature, which is debating a medical marijuana bill, has prompted follow-up pieces in the New York Daily News, The American Bar Association Journal and Reuters, among other news organizations. Support among New York State officials is mixed, and Gov. Andrew Cuomo, a Democrat, has said the problems with medical marijuana outweigh the benefits, according to MetroFocus, a site produced by New York City-area public television stations. Reichbach writes that three and one half years ago, on his 62nd birthday, doctors told him he had Stage 3 pancreatic cancer and that he had four to six months to live. His grueling treatment has included “chemotherapy, radiation hell and brutal surgery,” he writes. The cancer disappeared but returned, prompting doctors to prescribe a more aggressive course of chemotherapy. Reichbach writes about the constant nausea and pain, about forcing down food, and about the side effects of the many drugs to treat the disease and ease the symptoms of chemotherapy, including loss of appetite, constipation, insomnia and raised glucose levels.
“Inhaled marijuana is the only medicine that gives me some relief from nausea, stimulates my appetite, and makes it easier to fall asleep,” Reichbach writes. “Rather than watch the agony of my suffering, friends have chosen, at some personal risk, to provide the substance. I find a few puffs of marijuana before dinner gives me ammunition in the battle to eat. A few more puffs at bedtime permits desperately needed sleep.”
Reichbach notes 16 states have legalized medical marijuana and that Connecticut and New York are weighing bills.
“I implore the governor and the Legislature of New York … to join the forward and humane thinking of 16 other states and pass the medical marijuana bill this year,” Reichbach writes. “Medical science has not yet found a cure, but it is barbaric to deny us (cancer patients) access to one substance that has proven to ameliorate our suffering.”
via : usatoday
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