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New York: Bill To Create Emergency Access To Medical Marijuana Delivered To Gov. Cuomo's Desk

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Advocates: Not One Patient Has Yet Received Medical Marijuana and Four Children Have Died Waiting in the Past 15 Months; Cuomo Must Sign or Take Other Action to Provide Relief to Suffering Patients

Governor Has Ten Days to Sign or Veto the Bill

The New York State Assembly on Friday delivered to the Governor a bill to expedite access to medical marijuana for critically ill patients. In June, with overwhelming bipartisan support, both houses of the legislature passed A.7060 (Gottfried) / S.5086 (Griffo), directing the state to establish a program to help critically ill patients obtain emergency access to medical marijuana as soon as possible.

“The law that created New York’s medical marijuana program was passed in 2014 and is supposed to be up and running by January 2016,” said Assembly sponsor Richard N. Gottfried, who chairs the Assembly Health Committee. “But there remains a real danger that many seriously ill patients will not be able to access medical marijuana, and their conditions will deteriorate, potentially jeopardizing their lives.

“Many of these patients are young children with severe forms of epilepsy who have been successfully treated with particular forms of medical marijuana in other states,” Gottfried said. "I have been in discussions with the Cuomo administration about the bill for months and have answered every question raised by the Governor’s staff; I am not aware of any argument against the bill.”

New York: Bipartisan Legislation Introduced To Expedite Medical Marijuana Access

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Assembly Health Committee Chair Richard N. Gottfried and Assembly Minority Leader Brian M. Kolb Join as Co-Sponsors

Patients & Families Rally in Albany to Demand Emergency Access Before More Loved Ones Die

Patients, family members and activists stood with legislators on Tuesday as they announced the introduction of Assembly bill A. 7060, which would direct the state to establish a program to help critically ill patients obtain emergency access to medical marijuana as soon as possible. The bill, introduced by Assembly Health Committee Chair Richard N. Gottfried and Assembly Minority Leader Brian M. Kolb, comes 298 days after Governor Cuomo signed the medical marijuana bill into law on July 5, and nine months after the Governor urged the Health Commissioner to do everything in his power to get medical marijuana to children suffering from life-threatening forms of epilepsy.

To date, not one patient has received any medical marijuana, and at least three children who might have benefitted from medical marijuana have died since the bill was passed.

“This bill would create emergency access to medical marijuana for patients with the most urgent needs – including children suffering from severe epilepsy,” said Assembly Health Committee Chair Richard N. Gottfried, sponsor of the original medical marijuana bill. “Assembly Minority Leader Brian Kolb and I introducing this bill shows the broad, bipartisan support for emergency access.

New York: Governor Asks DOJ To Allow New York To Get Medical Marijuana From Other States

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Patients, Families, and Advocates Thank Cuomo For Federal Request, But Urge Additional State Action to Save Lives of Critically Ill Patients

Patients Call on Governor to Create State-Based Emergency Access Program

The Cuomo Administration on Friday sent a letter to Deputy Attorney General Cole following up on an earlier letter to U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, sent on August 13. Both letters asked the federal Department of Justice (DOJ) to extend a narrow, time-limited exception to federal law to allow the importation of certain strains of medical marijuana from other states for use by children in New York with severe forms of epilepsy.

The letters follow the deaths of several children and a sustained campaign by advocates pressuring the Cuomo Administration to create an interim emergency access program for patients who may not survive the 18 months or longer that the governor has said he needs to get the full medical marijuana program up and running. New York passed a medical marijuana bill that Governor Cuomo signed into law in July, but the Administration has said the program won’t be up and running until at least January of 2016.

To establish emergency access for patients in need, medical marijuana can either be produced within New York state, or, with appropriate federal clearances, acquired from a different jurisdiction. The Cuomo Administration’s letters address one of those two options.

New York: Gov. Cuomo Highlights Urgency For Swift Implementation of Medical Marijuana Program

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Need for Emergency Access is Clearer than Ever with Recent Deaths

Patients, Families, and Advocates Thank Cuomo and Urge His Continued Leadership and Action to Ensure Critically Ill Patients Receive Immediate Access to Medicine

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo on Wednesday called for swift implementation of New York’s recently passed medical marijuana law. Since the medical marijuana bill was signed into law on July 7, three children who suffered from severe seizure disorders have already died.

These deaths have made even clearer what we already knew – the 18-month or longer timeline for implementing New York’s medical marijuana law is simply too long for some patients who face life-threatening or terminal illnesses.

The Governor’s letter follows Monday’s meeting between the Governor’s office, the Department of Health, patients, and advocates from across New York State. In his letter, Governor Cuomo acknowledges the importance of expediting the implementation process, as well as exploring any options that might provide immediate relief for patients from across the state who are in pain and suffering.

“I applaud the Governor for recognizing the urgency around implementing New York’s medical marijuana law, so that patients can obtain access to potentially life-saving medicine,” said Wendy Conte of Buffalo, whose daughter recently died following a severe seizure. “We are looking to the Governor now for his continued leadership to ensure that our children receive the medicine that they need.

New York Officially Becomes 23rd Medical Marijuana State

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Patients, Caregivers and Healthcare Providers Thank Legislators and Governor, Immediately Turn Their Attention to Swift Implementation: “Patients Are Out of Time and Need Access Now”

Governor Andrew Cuomo on Monday signed a medical marijuana bill into law, making New York the 23rd state to allow legal access to medical marijuana for seriously ill patients. Patients, caregivers and healthcare providers are attending the bill signing ceremony at The New York Academy of Medicine, along with the bill sponsors, Assemblyman Dick Gottfried and Senator Diane Savino.

After years of advocacy and intense last minute negotiations between lawmakers, the bill passed on the final day of the legislative session with extraordinarily strong bipartisan support. New York is the second largest state in the nation

“Thanks to the bill sponsors and the Governor’s actions today, New York has joined twenty-two other states in creating safe and legal access to medical marijuana for seriously ill patients,” said Holly Anderson, executive director of the Breast Cancer Coalition of Rochester. “Patients in New York have been fighting for this for 18 years, and they have waited long enough. I urge the Governor to do everything within his power to insure that patients in New York can access medical marijuana as soon as possible."

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