Whoopi Goldberg Monday praised the governor for approving medical marijuana in the state, but said he could have done a little more to serve the New Yorkers who need it the most.
The actress and host of "The View" wrote a 773-word op-ed in the Denver Post's Cannabist blog Monday about her thoughts on the Gov. Andrew Cuomo's measure, which he signed into law last month. Although Goldberg gave a "big hug" to the governor for his efforts, she said the law doesn't help patients who suffer from glaucoma, migraines or severe menstrual disorders.
"There are so many people this could help -- and while a lot of people think others are champing at the bit to go out and party with medical marijuana, that's just not the case. People are desperate -- really desperate -- for the medication that helps them," wrote Goldberg, who suffers from glaucoma.
The "Ghost" actress, 58, said she would have liked to talked with Cuomo and other Albany officials about the legislation and if they talked with medical experts and other patients before enacting the law. A spokesman for the state health department said its inital list of conditions was created based on evidence that was reviewed by several medical experts and professionals and the list can be adapted.
"Under the law, the commissioner of health has the authority to expand that list as the science evolves, and as more research is conducted and made available," health department spokesman Bill Schwarz said in a statement.
Goldberg also had issue with the fact that the medical pot, which will be available through select medical centers in the state sometime next year, could only be used via vaporization as opposed to smoking.
"It feels like he's limiting people's ability to deal with their illness in a way that works for them," she wrote. "I'm not sure that's the best way to go about it because I think people should be able to decide how they want to ingest their medical marijuana."
Despite her two criticisms, Goldberg said the law will help pave the way for other states to enact similar legislation.
"The opening of this door by Gov. Cuomo means that they're recognizing there's a different pharmacy in the world -- one that is natural and better for your system and better for your health," she wrote.