New York, NY – Assemblymember Linda B. Rosenthal (D/WF-Manhattan) today announced that legislation she is working on with Whoopi Goldberg to allow medical marijuana to be prescribed for dysmenorrhea, or painful menstrual cramps, passed out of the Assembly Health Committee and now heads to the floor for a vote.
“Women are suffering in silence, each and every month confronting debilitating menstrual pain without access to one of the most safe and effective treatments: cannabis,” said Assemblymember Linda B. Rosenthal (D/WF-Manhattan). “Midol cannot be the pinnacle of menstrual cramp treatment. We women demand more; we demand access to pain relieving medication that is safe and effective at relieving menstrual cramps.”
Whoopi Goldberg, co-host of The View said, “Women have used cannabis for menstrual pain for as long as time, and this pain is real for a lot of us. I’m glad to see states like New York starting to get serious about this and when it gets to Gov. Cuomo's desk we hope he recognizes and champions this conversation, and allows these decisions to be made between patients and their doctor by signing this very important bill.”
Dysmenorrhea, or menstrual cramps, is the most common menstrual disorder, with more than half of all women of reproductive age reporting some level of monthly discomfort. While the majority women experience discomfort during their periods, some women suffer from severe and debilitating monthly pain, caused by primary or secondary dysmenorrhea. Women with severe menstrual cramps report monthly nausea, dizziness, fainting spells and being overcome with severe pain that interferes with work and school. Treatment of dysmenorrhea is limited: doctors will prescribe birth control, NSAIDS and/ or recommend exercise and heating pads, and other lifestyle changes.
For sufferers of severe menstrual cramps or those who cannot take birth control, these options are not enough. Many women report that cannabis use helps to ease severe menstrual pain. Medical marijuana does not create a psychoactive response in the user, yet still provides the desired pain relief.
According to Rebecca Nison, an dysmenorrhea sufferer and advocate, "What a long-awaited victory it is for women like myself to see our menstrual pain acknowledged, and to know that our legislators want to offer us safe, natural options for pain relief.”
Assemblymember Linda B. Rosenthal represents the 67th Assembly district, which includes the Upper West Side and parts of the Clinton/ Hell’s Kitchen neighborhoods in Manhattan.