By Sam Mendez, executive director of the Cannabis Law and Policy Project
Last week New York saw the opening of its first medical marijuana dispensaries under one of the nation’s most restrictive state programs. According to the New York Times, a mere 51 patients had registered with the program on opening day. However, by the next day that number apparently increased to 71. New York’s program is distinct from other medical marijuana regulatory schemes like those found in California or Washington, where it is much easier to obtain marijuana via a medical card. Some commentators, such as the Marijuana Policy Project, have questioned whether this system is too restrictive.