It's time to legalize marijuana in New York

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There are hundreds of thousands of people like me in New York, with illnesses ranging from MS to cancer to tinnitus, who could feel better and live more normal lives if they could use marijuana for the benefits it confers. As it stands, we can’t buy marijuana in New York without committing a crime, and we can’t buy it in a state where it’s sold and bring it home because it’s a federal crime to transport it across state lines.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo has been iffy about legalizing pot even for medical use. That view is very old, very unfair and needs to be dragged into the 21st century. Polls indicate that people want access to legal marijuana, certainly for alleviation of medical symptoms and even for recreational use. Reasonable people agree that, if made legal, pot must be strictly regulated, like alcohol, available only to those over 21 and taxed enough to benefit the state.

In talking this over with friends and family, the “high”-minded jokes have come at me fast and furiously. And I admit, there is something funny about a sixtysomething grandma watching a YouTube video to learn how to roll a joint.

I assure you, however, that cancer patients going through chemotherapy fail to see any humor in the debilitating nausea that can be alleviated by marijuana.

As a social justice issue, pot should be legal for recreational use. As a moral imperative, it should be available for medical use ASAP.

Copyright © 2014 Randi Kreiss. Randi can be reached at

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