Connecticut, New Jersey and New York Medical Societies Commend Governors’ Efforts to Address “Cross-Border” Issues Relating to Cannabis, But Concerns Remain About Legalization of Marijuana Use

The following is a joint statement from the presidents of the Connecticut, New Jersey, and New York Medical Societies:

“We commend the regional approach that the Governors of Connecticut, New Jersey, and New York are seeking to address ‘cross-border” issues relating to cannabis purchase and use.

However, our medical societies continue to have serious concerns with proposals to legalize the purchase of recreational or so-called “adult use” marijuana given the public health challenges that have arisen in other states that have legalized the purchase of marijuana for non-medical purposes.

These concerns have grown in recent weeks given the significant number of cases of pulmonary illness relating to the use of vaping devices, which have included many instances where cannabis was being vaped.

Important steps were taken this year in New York State to greatly reduce the threat of criminal sanction based upon possession of small amounts of marijuana, including expunging previous convictions for low-level possession offenses.  We believe that similar “decriminalization” measures should be pursued in other states, and a review taken as to whether these laws are achieving their intended goals.  Most importantly, we urge Congress and the President to work together to pass legislation to re-schedule marijuana under the Controlled Substances Act. Then, necessary research as to the health benefits and health risks of marijuana could begin.”

Bollepalli Subbarao, MD
Connecticut State Medical Society

Art Fougner, MD
President, Medical Society of the State of New York

Marc Levine, MD
President, Medical Society of New Jersey