The road to a legal medical marijuana is long and winding and full of dumb detours due to the main road being blocked with bullshit. It results, pretty dang often, with a lot of unreasonable constraints that can in some cases (looking at you, Minnesota) make an MMJ program basically useless.
Though New York’s medical cannabis operation isn’t lame to the degree of the land of Paul Bunyan or Florida, it’s still pretty sucky and flabergasting, especially for a traditionally progressive state. Among the weirdest stipulations to NY’s MMJ is that hash oil and edibles are going to be legit, while rolling up a joint of cannabis flowers isn’t.
According to the Associated Press, medical weed will be offered by licensed providers in the state in the “forms of capsules and oils and tinctures that can be vaporized or used in inhalers.” Flowers are out. “Oils” and “tinctures” that are consumed through vaporization sounds a whole lot like dabs. So the state, in its strange puritanical cold feet on legal weed, has actually legalized the medical use of hash oil (which many law enforcement agents and media outlets mistakenly call a dangerous scurge) while forbidding smoking bud, the most common and accepted form of cannabis consumption.
If all goes according to plan, 20 dispensaries will open on Thursday and 150 doctors will be registered with the state to offer cannabis recommendations, an obviously low number for a state with a population of roughly 20 million people. So it’s hard to understand what the fudge state Health Commissioner Howard Zucker meant when he said, “Our program ensures the availability of pharmaceutical-grade medical marijuana products for certified patients and establishes strict regulatory controls to protect public health and safety.”
With all the time state legislators spent hemming and hawing over the nearly useless medical marijuana program in New York, they could have just worked second jobs and put their income in a piggy bank to buy the state’s patients weed from street dealers (who almost definitely have a more sophisticated and efficient system in place than the state does). That’s what the patients are going to do.