New York City comptroller John C. Liu said Aug. 29 that legalized medical marijuana in Gotham would help about 100,000 patients and recommends $100 million public-owned research fund to establish City-owned and operated cannabis growing sites, and requiring insurance providers to cover prescriptions for the medicinal botanical “We estimate that more than 100,000 New Yorkers with serious medical conditions would benefit if medical marijuana were legalized — and that gives us 100,000 good reasons to do it,” said Comptroller Liu. “Marijuana’s medical value is well-established, but it is still routinely denied to patients and researchers. It’s time for that to change, and New York City government can play a role in reshaping our understanding of marijuana’s medical uses. We should leverage our City’s tremendous medical, bioscience, and academic resources to lead the way in medical marijuana research in order to make a meaningful impact on suffering for years to come.” About 87,594 patients with chronic or severe pain would benefit from medical pot in New York City, along with 15,311 who have muscle spasms (including multiple sclerosis), 10,996 with severe nausea, 3,555 with cancer, 3,213 with Hepatitis C, 2,558 with wasting syndrome, 1,919 with seizures/epilepsy, 1,396 with glaucoma and 1,227 with HIV/Aids. “The figure is a conservative estimate derived by calculating the medical marijuana patient share of the population in the 14 states with significant-sized medical marijuana programs and extrapolating the rate (1.27%) to New York City’s population,” comptroller Liu states.