By Charisma L. Miller, Esq
Brooklyn Daily Eagle
The late Brooklyn Supreme Court Justice Gustin Reichbach championed medical marijuana in the last moments of his life as he battled with cancer and related cancer treatments. The New York State legislature passed a bill for the legalization of drug for medicinal purposes, furthering a cause dear to the Brooklyn judge’s heart.
At the end of its legislative session, both the New York State Senate and the New York State Assembly voted to approve the use of medical marijuana for as treatment for 10 specific ailments including cancer and epilepsy. A deal struck between the legislature and New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo will allow qualifying patients to obtain the drug for state-regulated dispensaries.
To ensure that the privilege is not abused and that authorized marijuana does not fall into the wrong hands, the bill requires that the drug be distributed in a form that cannot be smoked—it must be administered through a vaporizer or as an oil base.
In May 2012, Reichbach wrote an op-ed article in The New York Times pleading for the legalization of marijuana for medical purposes. He himself was using it to ease his cancer treatments. Reichbach died of pancreatic cancer in July 2012.
Cuomo, originally against the movement to legalize the substance, but in 2014 the governor announced a proposed plan that would grant a limited number of New York hospitals to disseminate medicinal marijuana to patients suffering from serious and grave illnesses. Cuomo’s announcement comes a few days after the state of Colorado implemented its new law allowing for the less restrictive recreational use of the drug statewide. Unlike Colorado, Cuomo noted he is against legislation to legalize, regulate and tax recreational use of the drug.