New York State Editorial Roundup: Cannabis Remedies Program, Jacobs Fall, End Mask Warrants | Editorial
The legalization of cannabis for recreational purposes has had adverse effects on people who have used it for medical purposes for years. Many patients are unable to obtain medical marijuana due to bureaucratic and technological failures within the state government.
Cannabis Insider’s Brad Racino report last week detailed the difficulties patients face when trying to fill a medical prescription for medical marijuana. He wrote:
“Frustrated patients – some suffering from depression, anxiety, migraines and the effects of chemotherapy – face long delays in getting into the medical program and are unable to get the care they need. Instead of adding patients, New York is looking at them on bail, with some resorting to the gray market.
Racino has documented issues with patients waiting weeks or months to get medical cards from the Office of Cannabis Management, only to find that the cards don’t work; a broken data management system that has been down for three weeks and continues; and the unexplained closure of a delivery service that served rural patients, forcing them to travel long distances to get their medicine.
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Result: patients suffer unnecessarily. CMO’s assurances that they are working to fix the problems plaguing the medical marijuana market are of little comfort to them.
Some are not waiting for New York to pull itself together. They themselves acquire marijuana from illicit sellers. The perpetuation of this underground economy runs counter to the state’s efforts to create a legal cannabis market. The number of registered patients fell from 12,500 from January to June, to 124,000. New Jersey has 130,000 registered patients with a population less than half that of New York.
Creating the recreational cannabis industry in New York is a complex task. Delays and missteps have already delayed him. The medical marijuana program is collateral damage. It falls to CMO Executive Director Chris Alexander to fix it. The 124,000 patients who use medical cannabis in New York – and many more who could benefit from it – depend on him.
—Advance Media New York
Rep. Chris Jacobs’ stunning fall from grace usually only happens when a crime has been committed or some sort of physical impropriety has occurred.
To see a sitting congressman, who will soon represent a safe congressional district with all the perks of an incumbent, being forced out of a race in less than a week is surprising, especially given the circumstances.
Political support for Jacobs dried up at the public mention that he would vote for tougher federal laws limiting access to body armor, raising the age to buy large-capacity semi-automatic weapons to 21. and supporting banning weapons “like an AR-15”. ”
The reaction against Jacobs was swift and vocal. Republican support evaporated almost overnight. Within a week, Jacobs was forced to drop his bid for the redistributed seat formerly held by Rep. Tom Reed.
To be clear, the solutions that Jacobs and many Democrats have adopted will likely not on their own solve the problem of gun violence facing the nation. Focusing on guns and social media companies, as the state legislature did at the end of its legislative session, without paying the same attention to mental health and the societal factors that drive some people to commit acts of horror as unspeakable as the mass shooting in Buffalo or the school shooting in Uvalde, Texas.
Jacobs’ downfall was shocking, but taken in context, it shouldn’t be surprising. He forgot about mental health, which is half the gun violence equation, during his remarks.
As we assess the way forward after a particularly painful month, we must look at the issue of gun violence holistically rather than simply as a weapons issue. We can go much further this way.
Is New York’s COVID Mandate Madness Finally Calming Down?
On Tuesday, New York State and the MTA removed their requirements for agency employees to get tested weekly if they are not vaccinated.
More importantly, Mayor Eric Adams on Thursday announced the end – finally – of the senseless, cruel, and utterly anti-science mask mandate for the city’s youngest children.
All for good reason: the data on “public health” efforts like this are unambiguous. Mandates on masks or anything else have no significant effect — good or bad — on citywide or statewide COVID outcomes. They only add onerous demands to people’s daily lives and work, empower Karens in the public and private sectors, and increase costs for taxpayers.
Removing these silly rules may be a sign that New York City’s elected officials and other officials are beginning to take more seriously a reality already recognized by every sane person.
On the other hand, Governor Kathy Hochul refuses to end the transit mask mandate, leaving LIRR and MetroNorth commuters to envy their NJTransit peers. On the subway, meanwhile, we see a steady growth in civil disobedience, which means its stubbornness is undermining the rule of law.
We’ll admit that Hochul and (especially) Adams haven’t been as ridiculous as many of their band members would like. Above all, they avoided backlashes to restrictionism (despite stories of clickbait-for-COVID-hysterics in the likes of The New York Times). Schools remained open statewide despite objections from teachers’ unions; there has been no resurgence of the senseless vaccine passport system that has helped keep the city and state mired in COVID panic for too long.
As Adams aptly put it, if every new wave sends New York “into thoughts of closure (and) panic, we’re not going to function as a city.”