The first hurdle toward adding dysmenorrhea to New York’s medical marijuana qualifying conditions list has been crossed. The New York Assembly Health Committee approved an initiative last week for the condition. Dysmenorrhea is severe menstrual pain/cramping.
For extreme cases of dysmenorrhea, daily activities like getting out of bed – are impossible, Newsweek reports. Assembly Bill 582 passed the committee in a vote of 21 – 2. The Assembly floor will hear the legislation next.
Assemblywoman Linda Rosenthal, who introduced the bill, said, “This is a woman’s health issue and for years women have suffered in silence. There’s Midol. You can take Advil, but there’s really nothing more. Men have really been [the ones] who’ve run the state houses, governorships, presidencies, and some issues that are just about women have gotten shortchanged and that’s because it’s not in men’s everyday consciousness.”
Two Republican Assemblymen (both male) were the two opposing votes. The bill requires passage by the Senate and Governor Cuomo. Rosenthal is confidently hoping that the Senate will understand that medical marijuana can help varying forms of chronic pain, including menstrual pain.
Rosenthal said, “There is some mild discomfort for some, but some women can’t leave their bed for a week. People are starting to understand that medical marijuana is a useful tool to relieve suffering and women’s suffering from severe menstrual cramps.”
Rosenthal is known for her work in removing the feminine hygiene product sales tax in New York State. She’s also working on legislation to make feminine products free for women residing in homeless shelters and prisons, and also making the products free for women in schools.
Whoopi Goldberg supports Assembly Bill 582.
Rosenthal said, “I met with a force of a woman named Whoopi Goldberg, and she’s been a longtime expert on medical marijuana. I met with her and spoke with her, and she’s been passionate about easing women’s suffering by using medical marijuana. I thought this was a great opportunity to create an impact with a passionate supporter and help women access something new that can help relieve what cripples some of them during that time of the month.”
Rosenthal also said, “I think we’re a progressive state. It did take 20 years to get medical marijuana to be the law, but we’re going to work hard to get it passed. And I’m sure many women will vouch for what they have to go through each month.”