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New York May Soon Legalize Marijuana for Period Pain

Picture of Nadia Elysse
US Editorial Team Lead
Updated: 10 June 2017
For some women, three to five days of every month are pure torture: “Imagine your emotions are placed on a keyboard, then someone is slamming their hands on the keyboard,” Facebook user Valerie Cassavant described. “All you want to do is sleep and sit on something soft. If you have front cramps, it feels like someone has your abdomen in a vice. If they are back cramps, it feels like someone is kicking you in the tailbone over and over.”

Many women turn to over-the-counter medications to alleviate their symptoms, but New York state may be on the verge of revolutionary treatment for period pain. The New York State Assembly proposed a bill that would add dysmenorrhea, or severe period pain, to the list of covered conditions for the lawful use of medical marijuana. That’s right, New York women may soon be able to use prescription marijuana to ease their cramps.

Photo: Chuck Gimmet/Flickr
Photo: Chuck Gimmet/Flickr | Photo: Chuck Grimmet/Flickr

Right now, marijuana is legal in New York for the treatment of a number of conditions including Parkinson’s disease, cancer, inflammatory bowel disease, and multiple sclerosis. The proposed bill, number 582, will go into law if it is approved by Senate and signed by Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

“This is a woman’s health issue and for years women have suffered in silence. There’s Midol. You can take Advil, but really nothing more,” Assemblywoman Linda Rosenthal, who introduced the bill, told Newsweek. “Men have really been [the ones] who’ve run state houses, governorships, presidencies, and some issues that are just about women have gotten shortchanged and that’s because it’s not in men’s everyday consciousness.”