ALBANY — Whoopi Goldberg thinks Gov. Cuomo could aim higher on medical marijuana.
In a column posted on The Cannabist website, the actress and co-host of “The View” applauded New York’s legalization of medical pot but complained the law signed by Cuomo in June leaves too many sufferers out in the cold.
Goldberg, who uses medical marijuana for glaucoma, said New York’s law does not allow pot to be prescribed for the eye disease or other serious conditions like migraines and severe menstrual disorders.
“I will say I would have loved to have had a conversation with the governor and his staff,” Goldberg wrote. “I probably would have asked, ‘Did y’all talk to a whole lot of patients? How did you come up with the list of conditions? And did you talk to any of the other governors about what affect medical marijuana has had on patients?’ ”
The 58-year-old Oscar-winner also argued New York’s law goes too far in restricting how patients can use medical marijuana. The law prohibits smoking weed but does allow edible or vaporized forms of the drug.
“I appreciate that he’s making an anti-smoking statement by not selling the actual marijuana bud,” Goldberg wrote. “But it feels like he’s limiting people’s ability to deal with their illness in a way that works for them.”
Under New York’s law, medical marijuana can be used to treat 10 serious illnesses and conditions, including cancer, HIV and AIDS, Lou Gehrig’s disease and epilepsy. The state health commissioner is empowered to add additional diseases to the list.
“The initial list of diseases to be covered by New York’s medical marijuana program was based upon the best available evidence, as reviewed by medical experts in the Department of Health and in consultation with outside practitioners and professionals,” said Bill Schwartz, a spokesman for the state Health Department.
Goldberg, in her column, said she has no hard feelings despite her dissatisfaction with the new law. She closed the piece with a “big hug to Gov. Cuomo.”
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