I don’t know if anyone seriously thinks that Andrew Cuomo is a viable Democratic candidate for President, but he’s sure not a viable progressive candidate for President, Governor or, probably, dog catcher. Here’s an example of classic Cuomo stupidity — his role in watering down New York’s medical marijuana law.
Holly Anderson says that while she’s glad that a medical marijuana bill has been approved by the State Legislature, she’s disappointed in the version of the bill that passed.
Anderson, who is executive director of the Breast Cancer Coalition of Rochester, says that Governor Andrew Cuomo didn’t voice his objections to an earlier version of the bill until it was too late to address them.
“My ire is with the governor,” she says.
And she’s not the only advocate of medical marijuana who says that the bill got watered down in ways that will make cannabis more expensive for patients. And for some, it will be less effective, Anderson says.
Anderson’s biggest objection to the new law is the fact that it doesn’t allow smoking as one of the ways that the plant can be used. Smoking is the most efficient way for the body to absorb all of the plant’s compounds, she says. Some of those compounds could be lost by processing the plant into a commercial form, she says.
As with a lot of New York lawmaking, the medical marijuana law already had its fair share of stupidity before Cuomo swooped in and crapped it up. For example, it authorizes a grand total of 20 dispensaries across the third largest state in the nation, where Manhattan alone could probably use 20. But Cuomo’s decision to remove smoking makes it more expensive (since you have to buy a vaporizer and commercially processed oil instead of just a joint), and probably less effective, since the extracts probably aren’t the same as the whole plant. It’s not based on any scientific evidence (since there’s very little science done on the benefits of marijuana), and it also hobbles research on the difference between whole plant and extracts. And, at least in the case of cancer patients going through chemotheraphy, the amount of smoking that’s happening is remarkably little, and certainly not on the order of a cigarette smoker.
Cuomo is the governor of one of the most liberal states in the nation. His deal with the progressive Working Families Party makes him a lock for re-election. Medical marijuana is fairly popular (here’s a recent poll showing 78% approval). Yet after considering all that, he still didn’t have the guts to let an already hobbled law pass without further restrictions.
Just put that in your grudge carrier and trot it out if in future someone mentions Cuomo as a candidate for a higher office.