Often in our “modern” society, menstruation and the pain that comes with it is either made into a joke or avoided in conversations as it gives (mostly men but not all men) the eebie-jeebies. It’s messy; no one likes to think about it, and often women are painted as drama queens who are completely unreasonable, can’t handle a little pain, and are erratic during their periods.
Here’s the thing, it’s a biological function, and for some, a medical condition.
Dysmenorrhea is the medical term for the severe pain that invades our lady parts before and during menstruation. Colloquially it’s referred to as extreme cramping. According to the American Academy of Family Physicians, 20 percent of women experience these menstrual cramps so brutally that they impeded daily functions like work.
The most common methods of relief (or attempted relief) are taking mass quantities of Pamprin or Midol and applying heat to the cramping areas. For those women who experience severe cramping, it isn’t enough. In recognition of that, New York women may have a new option on the horizon.
The New York Assembly’s Health Committee passed an initiative recently that would add dysmenorrhea to the list of qualifying conditions for medical marijuana in the state. This means that women in New York who are diagnosed with the condition and had a recommendation from a certified MMJ doctor for medical marijuana could legally access the drug with a “pot card.”
“This is a woman’s health issue, and for years women have suffered in silence. There’s Midol. You can take Advil, but really nothing more,” Assemblywoman Linda Rosenthal, a Democrat, who introduced the bill, told Newsweek during a phone call Wednesday. Remember Assemblywoman Rosenthal? She worked on the bill to get rid of taxes on our female “luxury items” like tampons and pads. She’s continuing her fight for women’s issues with this new proposed legislation.
The initiative is Assembly Bill 582. It’s on its way to the Assembly floor. To pass the bill, it will need approval from both the New York Senate and New York governor, Andrew Cuomo. Governor Cuomo has been a guiding force in legalizing MMJ in New York, so outlooks may be favorable.
That said, women (and all people really) of New York, now is the time to dial-up, email, and do a pop-in with your Senate (and governor if you can) to let them know that women’s issues are important and Assembly Bill 582 needs to be passed. Let’s start treating menstruation and conditions that arise from it as medical in nature and not some unfounded conjecture about low pain tolerance.