A New York state lawmaker is leading an initiative to let women treat their menstrual pain with cannabis.
The measure would classify menstrual pain as one of the several conditions that patients can treat with cannabis in New York state.
Democrat, New York State Assemblywoman, Linda Rosenthal, introduced the bill that passed in the New York Assembly’s Health Committee in a 21 to 2 vote.
“This is a woman’s health issue and for years women have suffered in silence. There’s Midol. You can take Advil, but really nothing more,” Assemblywoman Rosenthal, told Newsweek. “Men have really been [the ones] who’ve run 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.”
Assembly Bill 582 will be put for vote on the Assembly floor. Upon passage by the senate, and New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo, women will be issued a medical marijuana card they could use to treat dysmenorrhea (what is widely known as cramps and severe menstrual pain).
According to the American Academy of Family Physicians, some women are unable to get out of bed, performs their daily tasks, or lead a normal life when suffering from dysmenorrhea.
Only two Republican male Assembly members voted against the measure. Assemblywoman Rosenthal is convinced that her fellow Senate members will find that women can effectively manage their menstrual pain with cannabis, just like other pain sufferers have treated their ailments using pot.
Only patients suffering from the following conditions may take weed to treat themselves:
HIV infection or AIDS
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS)
Spinal cord injury with spasticity
Inflammatory bowel disease
Assemblywoman Rosenthal helped secure enough votes to pass a bill that removed sales tax from feminine hygiene products. She is currently spearheading another bill that will allow women in prisons, home shelters, and schools to receive feminine hygiene products for free.
Cannabis entrepreneur, Hollywood actress, and The View co-host, Whoopi Goldberg is supporting Assemblywoman Rosenthal’s campaign. In partnership with award-winning pot infuser, Maya Synergy, Ms. Goldberg sells her own brand of cannabis-based products that ease menstrual pain. The pair markets a line of cannabidiol infused bath soaks, raw chocolate, and body balms.
Online reviewers have stated that cannabis-infused tampons and lubricants alleviate menstrual cramp pain without leaving users “high.” Researchers have not put the products through clinical trials, and the FDA has not approved its use.
In February, Governor Cuomo told reporters that he was against legalizing recreational cannabis in New York State. Gov. Cuomo called cannabis a “gateway drug.”
Studies have found that marijuana use can make some people more susceptible to getting addicted to more dangerous drugs. However, other studies have concluded that cannabis use can keep people from using more dangerous drugs like opioids and heroin.
Gov. Cuomo also opposed medical marijuana. However, he signed the bill after making a deal that would allow him to end the bill under certain conditions. He also stated that he was open to allowing PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) to be included in the list of conditions that can be treated with cannabis use.