NY lawmakers are pushing to legalize medical cannabis for pets


Pet owners in New York could soon be medicating their four-legged friends with medical cannabis products. Just last week, Assemblywoman Amy Paulin, D-Scarsdale, Westchester County secured a bill that would enable pet owners to get a certification for cannabis products from the city’s veterinarians.

A colossal amount of New Yorkers are using medical cannabis to treat widespread illnesses, such as cancer and epilepsy. Paulin touched upon this when she introduced the bill.

“Research suggests that animals can also benefit from cannabis use to similarly treat their ailments,” Paulin’s bill says.

“Medical marijuana has helped countless people in the management and treatment of chronic and debilitating illnesses,”  she went on to say.

https://d3atagt0rnqk7k.cloudfront.net/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/18143415/medicating-pets-cannabis-1280x800.jpgPets and humans can benefit equally from medical cannabis

Animal experts in New York and beyond are constantly researching the effects of medical cannabis for pets. Many of them are adamant that animals can experience the same relief from ailments, like arthritis and chronic pain, if they use cannabis as a medicine.

“Every animal with a spinal column also has an endocannabinoid system, so it stands to reason that cannabis can help many species,” said veterinary physician, Liz Hughston.

Currently, 1,500 practitioners have registered with New York’s medical cannabis program. The number of patients is creeping up, with the Health Department declaring that 47,600 patients have signed up to the program.

As numbers rise and more research spills out, the appeal of using cannabis for pets also grows. Paulin strives to bulk up the number of registered medical cannabis patients with domesticated animals.

Several companies have already created cannabis products for canines, such as Canna-Pet. This company infuses hemp into tasty treatable chews. Every pet loves a treat, making this type of medication easy to administer to an animal. Alternative products include CBD oils and capsules.

“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,” Paulin says in the bill.

Similar bills may be considered elsewhere in future

It is unlikely that Paulin will have an easy time trying to legalize cannabis for pets. Certain speed bumps may slow her down, such as disapproval from people like New York Governor Andrew Cuomo.

During Cuomo’s time in office, he has frowned upon progressive cannabis laws.

Since the “Big Apple” has some of the strictest medical cannabis programs in America, Paulin’s bill might fail. Should that happen, two states will consider comparable bills. Those states are California and Nevada.

Time will tell whether or not pet owners in NY can give their furry companions cannabis as a medicine.