New York’s Medical Marijuana Program Gets an ‘F+’ Grade

David Downs, San Francisco Chronicle

Bay Area-based advocacy group Americans for Safe Access is grading the medical marijuana programs of different states on how well they serve patients, and they’re ready to kill the buzz on New York becoming a medical marijuana state. New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed the bill into law Monday, the same day ASA gave The Empire State an “F+”.

The report uses a point system to grade each medical marijuana law on: a) patients’ rights and protection from discrimination, b) access to medicine, c) ease of navigation, and d) functionality. Among the reasons why New York’s medical pot program is a fail:

- patients can’t grown their own medicine, have a caregiver grow it, or collectively cultivate it
- New York prohibits patients from accessing cannabis (a plant) in plant form — only extracts like oils and edibles are allowed
- physicians specialized in cannabis cannot recommend it
- medical pot patients can still lose custody of their kids over their prescription
- medical pot patients can be jailed for DUI when they are sober
- medical pot patients can be fired for using the drug off-duty.
- medical pot patients can lose their housing over the medication

None of the 23 medical pot states got an “A” in ASA’s analysis, and “after years of failed implementation, state laws such as those in Connecticut, Delaware, and New Jersey remain inoperable for all practical purposes”, they write.

Here is every state’s grades, looks like Maine and Rhode Island are setting the curve:

Alaska (D-), Arizona (C+), California (B-), Colorado (C+), Connecticut (D), Delaware (D), Hawaii (D), Illinois (D), Maine (B), Maryland (D), Massachusetts (C), Michigan (C-), Minnesota (D-), Montana (D), Nevada (C), New Hampshire (D), New Jersey (D-), New Mexico (C), New York (F), Oregon (C+), Rhode Island (B), Vermont (C), Washington (B-), and the District of Columbia (D).