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New York Legislators Aim to Add Menstrual Cramps as Qualifying Condition for MMJ Program

Assembly Bill 582 would allow women across the state to quell their monthly pain with legal weed.

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A new bill making its way through the New York State Legislature could benefit women all over the Empire State. 

According to the NY Daily News, Assembly Bill 582 would add dysmenorrhea, or menstrual cramps, to the list of qualifying conditions to access the state’s medical marijuana program.

The bill was sponsored by Assemblywoman Linda Rosenthal, and was approved yesterday by the state’s Assembly Health Committee, but has yet to reach the full assembly, where a successful vote would push the bill to Governor Andrew Cuomo’s desk. 

New York’s medical marijuana program is still extremely limited, but the new legislation would open access to millions of New Yorkers who were otherwise left out.

In the push for that access, and to bring attention to the ways cannabis can help women experiencing menstrual pain, one of New York’s most outspoken celebrity cannabis advocates, Whoopi Goldberg, has come in vocal support of AB 582.

“Women have used cannabis for menstrual pain for as long as time, and this pain is real for a lot of us,” Goldberg said in the statement about the bill. “I'm glad to see states like New York starting to get serious about this and when it gets to Gov. Cuomo's desk we hope he recognizes and champions this conversation, and allows these decisions to be made between patients and their doctor by signing this very important bill.”

Of course, it should also be noted that Whoopi has her own cannabis company (Whoopi & Maya) specifically dedicated to helping women relieve period pains.

The bill still needs to find support in the state’s Republican-controlled senate, but with about 50% of the state going through menstruation every month, it would seem cruel to deny them a natural option for pain relief.