New York should allow medical marijuana use

Label me confused, not naive or ignorant. When 20 states pass legislation for medical marijuana, why can’t New York do the same? Invisible state lines post signs, “Welcome to …” How does that invisible line separate antithetical beliefs?

My grandnephew Vinny is 8 years old. His mesmerizing blue eyes and ubiquitous smile light a room. For more than six years, lights go out for Vinny during dozens of seizures, day and night. Family life stops while he writhes and stops breathing. Will Vinny breathe or die? His brothers, 4 and 9, helplessly, fearfully watch.

No approved medication or therapy stops Vinny’s seizures. Every seizure decreases his function. Vinny needs feeding help and diapering. Vinny’s mom, a dedicated Epilepsy Foundation volunteer, has not slept a full night in six years.

Vinny and immediate family can become medical refugees and relocate to obtain medical marijuana. Then Vinny would be severed from adoring grandparents who help with his care. New York State would lose my nephew, a singularly skilled, innovative, high tax-paying surgeon.

Many lethal drugs are prescribed and regulated in New York State. I am a registered nurse. I know that any drug can be abused. What logic prevents providing beneficial medication to helpless children or thousands of cancer and multiple sclerosis patients?

New York is touted as a progressive state, but 20 states and Washington, D.C., are more progressive. Deep ignorance of life-sustaining medical marijuana clouds legislative vision.

If the medical use of foxglove plants had been outlawed, countless patients with heart disease would have died prematurely. Without medical use of willow bark, aspirin would be illegal. Many medical practitioners know that today, aspirin would fail Food and Drug Administration approval. Do any state senators take a baby aspirin a day to prevent stroke or heart attack? I guess none needs medical marijuana.

Linda Militello