Legislation introduced in New York would allow veterinarians to certify pets and animals for the state’s medical cannabis program. The measure was introduced in the state Assembly last week by Democrat Amy Paulin but has yet to gain a sponsor in the Senate.
“Medical marihuana has helped countless people in the management and treatment of chronic and debilitating illnesses. Research suggests that animals can also benefit from cannabis use to similarly treat their ailments. … Animal owners and care-givers would therefore be given an alternative option to alleviate their pets’ pain. This could be helpful to many animals in need of relief, especially those that have chronic illnesses and for whom more traditional medical treatment has not proven to be effective.” – A.10104 text
According to the bill text, lawmakers in Nevada and California have also introduced legislation to allow animals to access medical cannabis.
It’s not likely to gain much traction. With no Senate sponsor and no co-sponsors in the Assembly, it will face an uphill battle in the Legislature. Pair that with Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s tepid support for medical cannabis and the bill could be dead-on-arrival if it passed both legislative chambers and hit his desk.
The good news: The bill was sent to the Assembly Health Committee which is chaired by Rep. Richard Gottfried – a longtime proponent of medical cannabis and the lead sponsor for the state’s medical cannabis program legislation in 2014.