Doctors, Educators, Parents, and Medical Professionals in “Legal” Marijuana States Request Meeting with Governor Andrew Cuomo

By February 26, 2020Uncategorized

Today, responding to Governor Andrew Cuomo’s announcement he will visit legalized marijuana states, Smart Approaches to Marijuana (SAM), the leading non-profit organization opposed to the expansion of the marijuana industry, led a coalition letter to Governor Cuomo requesting a meeting to discuss key issues related to marijuana.

The letter, signed by medical professionals, educators, scientific researchers, prevention and substance abuse workers, individuals in recovery, and parents, invites the governor to speak to them about outcomes of marijuana legalization in Massachusetts, Colorado, and California specifically.

“It’s important for Governor Cuomo to hear from people on the ground – not just industry insiders or state bureaucrats who have an incentive to offer rosy evaluations of legalization,” said Dr. Kevin Sabet, president of SAM and a former senior drug policy advisor to the Obama Administration. “Marijuana commercialization has led to significant harms upon public health and safety and he should hear from medical doctors, scientists, parents, and people in recovery. It would be a disservice to New Yorkers for the governor to ignore their voices.”

Full text of the letter below:

Dear Governor Cuomo,

We write as parents, doctors and scientists, health professionals, and persons in the recovery community who have intimate knowledge of what it is like to live, work, and raise families in Colorado, California, Illinois, and Massachusetts – states that have legalized marijuana for recreational purposes.

We have watched with alarm the growth of a for-profit commercial marijuana industry bent on increasing profits and compromising public health. For example, we’ve seen the number of high school seniors vaping THC double over the past two years. We have been concerned by the wildly unfounded claims of marijuana as a cure for the opioid crisis and a medical cure for a host of other ills. We continue to see significant increases in ER visits, Cannabis Use Disorder, and a host of new ailments associated with the use of this drug.

We respectfully request a meeting with you in each of the states to which you travel in search of lessons learned, and the opportunity to share our first-hand, lived experience and the relevant public health data before you decide to embark on this path in your state.

Sincerely, the undersigned individuals and organizations from each state:

Ken Finn, MD
Colorado Governor’s Task Force on Amendment 64
President Elect, American Board of Pain Medicine
Christian Thurstone, MD
Professor of Psychiatry, University of Colorado School of Medicine
SAM Scientific Advisory Board Member
Libby Stuyt, MD
Addiction Psychiatrist,
Circle Program, Crossroads Turning Point and Pueblo Community Health Center-FQHC
Karen Randall, MD
Brad Roberts, MD FAAEM FACEP
Emergency Medicine Physician
Southern Colorado Emergency Medicine Associates
Assistant Professor of Emergency Medicine, University of New Mexico

Raymond Bertino, MD FACR FSRU
Clinical Professor of Radiology and Surgery,
University of Illinois College of Medicine, Peoria
Dr. Susan Sirota, MD
Pediatric Partners
Andy Duran
ED, Linking Efforts Against Drugs (LEAD)
Jamie Epstein
ED of Stand Strong Coalition
Catalyst High School Group
Adlai E. Stevenson High School, 120 students

Dana Stevens
ED of Community Action, Service, Advocacy
Bishop Ron Allen
President, International Faith Based Coalition

Dr. Eden Evins
Director, MGH Center for Addiction Medicine
Cox Family Professor of Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School
SAM Scientific Advisory Board Member
Colin LePage
Haverhill City Councilor
Sharon Levy, MD, MPH
Director, Adolescent Substance Use and Addiction Program
Boston Children’s Hospital
Amy Turncliff, PhD
Neuroscientist & Public Health Advocate
Jody Hensley
Community Advocate
Theresa Hoggins
Parent of child with Cannabis Use Disorder

Colton Grace

Author Colton Grace

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