New York Lawmaker Wants to Legalize Medical Marijuana for Pets

New York Assemblywoman Amy Paulin (D) plans to introduce a bill that would allow for the prescription of medical cannabis to pets by veterinarians.

"People love their pets, as I do mine, and you just want to afford them the same civility, treatment that we have for ourselves,” Paulin told Buffalo-based NBC affiliate WGRZ last week.

The introduction of pet-friendly medical marijuana products would allow owners to move away from the opioid medications that often get prescribed to pets now. This bill is similar to legislation in California, which allows owners to buy cannabis products for their pets. The New York bill, however, will go one step further by allowing vets to prescribe medical marijuana to pets, according to Paulin.

Many pet-lovers are currently looking for alternative medications for animals with arthritis, cancer and other conditions, according to veterinarian Susan Wylegala.

"Most companion animal owners are requesting information and are certainly looking for options for alternative treatments for their pets,” Wylegala told WGRZ. She hopes that the new bill would allow for more cannabis research in veterinary science because finding the proper dosage amounts for different pets is key to developing an effective treatment.