By Angela Alfano
The legalization of marijuana is one of the latest topics of conversation in America. While some states such as Colorado and Washington passed the legalization of the drug for leisure purposes, others are beginning to warm up to the idea of at least allowing the plant for medical use. New York, more specifically Long Island, opened two new medical marijuana dispensaries; one in Nassau County and the other in Riverhead, Suffolk County.
According to Marijuana Policy Project’s official website, the first eight medical marijuana dispensaries were opened in New York on Jan. 7, 2016. As far as rules and regulations go, the website states, “marijuana can only be recommended by registered doctors who have taken a costly 4.5 hour course on medical cannabis,” As of Friday, Jan.29, there were 306 physicians and 465 patients certified by the state, according to the Department Of Health.
Under the New York State Medical Marijuana Program, “anyone with a debilitating or life threatening-condition is eligible to use medical marijuana.” Such conditions include, cancer, HIV infection or AIDS, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, spinal cord injury with spasticity, epilepsy, inflammatory bowel disease, neuropathy, and Huntington’s disease.
According to The Long Island Press, the medicinal marijuana offered at the Riverhead facility costs between $100-$300. However, some patients may be eligible for subsidies of 15-20 percent depending on if they live below poverty level or are on Medicaid.