Medical Cannabis Access For Menstrual Cramps


Assemblywoman Linda B. Rosenthal continues to fight for New York women’s rights.

Dysmenorrhea is the clinical name for extremely painful menstrual cramps. They come on monthly, maybe as a slightly annoying pain and then all of a sudden life is upside down. Personally, I’ll find myself hunched over or laying on my back on the ground when it gets really bad. As stated in Bill No. A582, “In severe cases, this pain can be debilitating, further
limiting a woman’s ability to perform daily activities.”

When I go through an exceptionally painful cycle, I always turn to cannabis. I specifically enjoy micro-dosing with an Indica edible. But not all women are blessed to live in a state with safe access to medical cannabis like California, Arizona, and Washington. That is why Assemblywoman, Linda B. Rosenthal introduced an act to amend the public health law in New York state into regular assembly sessions on January 9, 2017.

This bill would provide women with access to cannabis as a treatment for the debilitating symptoms of dysmenorrhea. According to A582, “Not only will this improve women’s wellness and productivity during menstruation, but it will also advance New York State in one of the country’s fastest-growing industries.”

Rosenthal has been a champion for women during her time representing the 67th Assembly district. This cannabis related step doesn’t only help the female population in New York, it also cultivates a ripe cannabis industry for the period having citizens of the state.

Currently, New York will grant a medical cannabis card for the following conditions:

  • Cancer
  • Positive status for Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) or Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS)
  • Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (Lou Gehrig’s Disease)
  • Parkinson’s Disease
  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • damage to the nervous tissue of the spinal cord with objective neurological indication of intractable Spasticity
  • Epilepsy
  • Inflammatory Bowel Disease(IBD)
  • Neuropathies
  • Huntington’s Disease
  • Cachexia
  • wasting syndrome
  • Severe nausea
  • Seizures
  • Severe or persistent
  • muscle spasms
  • Any severe debilitating pain that the practitioner determines degrades health and functional capability, that has intolerable side effects, that has lasted for or is expected to last for at least three months, and other modes of therapy that failed to treat or that cannot be treated by another therapy because it would be harmful.

Adding dysmenorrhea to the list would grant medical cannabis access to upwards of 90% of the female population in New York. This means that a huge number of women would have relief and that many new consumers would enter the cannabis market. The measure will head to the Assembly floor next after a 21-2 approval vote. After the Assembly floor, the bill will head to the New York Senate and then the desk of Governor Andrew Cuomo.

Rosenthal is confident that the Senate will see the value of adding dysmenorrhea to the list of qualifying conditions for medical cannabis in New York. But it is wise to keep in mind that these things do take time. While the bill is working its way through the process it could get stalled or put on hold for years. To support this cause and keep the bill moving forward support clinical trials and gaining funding for research on the topic of cannabis and dysmenorrhea. Shifting the stigma through science-based facts can help to alter the perspective of those who make the political decisions where we live.

July 5, 2017

by Cara Wietstock

Profile photo of Cara Wietstock
Cara began working in the retail cannabis industry of San Francisco, CA in 2011 and continued in that sector for years. In 2015 she put down her budtender hat and dedicated herself to writing full-time. Her passion for the written word and deep respect for the healing properties of the cannabis plant fuel the passion in her posts.


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