donna romano

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New York: Medical Marijuana Advocates Launch Billboard Campaign For Veterans, Other PTSD Patients


Billboards to Run In Syracuse, Rochester, Albany and Other Media Markets Across the State

Patient Advocates Ask Cuomo Administration to Grant Veterans Suffering from PTSD Access to Medical Marijuana

Compassionate Care NY and the Drug Policy Alliance on Tuesday launched a billboard campaign to have Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) added to the list of conditions covered by New York’s medical marijuana law.

The first billboard was put up in Syracuse on Route 690 East, with others to follow in Rochester, Albany, and other media markets across the state. The billboard directs people to a petition encouraging Governor Cuomo and Health Commissioner Zucker to add PTSD as one of the medical conditions for which patients can receive medical marijuana in New York.

"There are several other states that include PTSD under their medical marijuana programs,” said Donna Romano, a Vietnam Era veteran of the US Navy from Syracuse, New York. “Why isn't PTSD included in New York? I am a veteran myself, and I believe that the people who serve this country should have access to treatments that actually work when they come home.

"The science is real, and the research is strong," Romano said. "Cannabis helps treat PTSD, and veterans who call New York home should have this option. As it stands now, New York’s medical marijuana program is quite limited, and it leaves out thousands of people struggling with PTSD. That is unacceptable. PTSD should be added to the list of covered conditions immediately."

New York: Officials Ignore Patients; Pursue Unworkable Medical Marijuana Program


Advocates Say Final Regulations to Leave Thousands of Patients to Suffer Needlessly

Abandoned by Cuomo Administration, Critically Ill Patients and Families Vow to Return to the Legislature to Fix New York’s Broken Medical Marijuana Program

The New York State Department of Health (DOH) on Tuesday night released the final regulations for New York’s medical marijuana program. The announcement followed a period of public comment in which patients, families, experts, and industry professionals submitted more than a thousand letters and emails critiquing the proposed regulations for being too restrictive and unworkable.

In response to this incredible level of input from the public and private industry, the Department of Health made absolutely no substantive changes to the regulations. Instead, they made only handful of technical fixes, such as correcting typos, according to the Drug Policy Alliance (DPA).

Twenty-two other states have passed medical marijuana laws, five jurisdictions have passed laws taxing and regulating marijuana for adult use, and the federal government has made clear that they will not interfere with properly administered state marijuana programs. Despite this, the Cuomo Administration, in its response to the public comments, repeatedly uses federal laws as an excuse for inaction.

New York: 100+ Patients and Advocates Travel To Albany To Urge Passage of Medical Marijuana Law


Negotiations Between Senate, Assembly and Governor Continue as Deadline for Passage of Compassionate Care Act Approaches

Patients & Families Demand Action: “Don’t Make Us Wait Another Year for Relief!”

With only two days left in the legislative session, more than 100 patients, caregivers, and healthcare providers will gather in Albany for rallies urging Governor Cuomo and Senate leaders to pass the Compassionate Care Act before it's too late. They will travel from all over the state -- New York City, Western New York, Long Island, and Central New York -- to push the Legislature to pass the Compassionate Care Act -- A.6357-D (Gottfried) / S.4406-D (Savino) – before the end of legislative session on Thursday, June 19.

The bill would create one of the nation’s most tightly regulated medical marijuana programs and allow seriously ill patients access to a small amount of marijuana under the supervision of their healthcare provider.

Governor Cuomo on Monday issued a set of last minute demands related to the legislation, and lawmakers amended the bill to account for many of those concerns. But some of Cuomo’s demands were rejected as they would have made the program unworkable and leave thousands of patients to suffer needlessly.

The Governor, bill sponsors, and leadership in both houses are still negotiating to try and reach agreement on the bill. If an agreement is not reached this week, patients and families will be left to suffer another year.

New York: Medical Marijuana Patients, Physicians Outraged; Governor Proposes Leaving Patients Behind


Comprehensive Legislation is Needed to Relieve Suffering in New York; Research Should Augment, Not Replace, Legislative Solution

Strong Statements from Patients, Caregivers and Physicians Calling on Governor to Support Compassionate Care Act

The Buffalo News on Tuesday reported on an agreement with Britain-based GW Pharmaceuticals to pursue clinical trials in New York for Epidiolex, a investigational new marijuana-derived drug that is intended for children with severe seizure disorders. The proposal is limited to research studies only, must go through the lengthy FDA-approval process, and would be focused solely on children under 18 years of age with severe seizure disorders who have not responded to other medications.

The research study is not the same thing as a patient access system for medical marijuana, such as the one as outlined in the Compassionate Care Act (S.4406B-Savino/A.6357B-Gottfried). The research trials would not allow eligible patients in New York to access medical marijuana under the supervision of their healthcare provider.

Rather, only a very small, select group patients -- likely limited to a few dozen -- who qualify for the research trial would be allowed access into the study.

Patients, caregivers and physicians, frustrated with Gov. Cuomo’s failure to support real solutions, reacted strongly to the proposed "trials."

New York: State Assembly Passes Comprehensive, Bipartisan Medical Marijuana Bill


New York One Step Closer Becoming 23rd Medical Marijuana State

Patients and Families Cheer Assembly Action, Call for Vote in the Senate

The New York State Assembly on Tuesday passed the Compassionate Care Act (A. 6357-B/Gottfried) by a bipartisan vote of 91–34. This is the fifth time that the Assembly has passed a medical marijuana bill, and comes just months after the Assembly included the measure in their one-house state budget proposal. The bill remains stalled in the Senate.

The bill, known as the Compassionate Care Act, would provide relief for thousands of New York patients suffering from serious and debilitating conditions -– such as cancer, MS, and epilepsy -- by allowing the use of medical marijuana under the supervision of their healthcare provider. Patients, caregivers, and providers watched from the gallery as the Assembly debated and then voted overwhelmingly in favor of the bill.

“Once again the Assembly has shown that it understands the needs of seriously ill patients in New York,” said Donna Romano of Syracuse. “As someone who lives with MS and seizures, I know medical marijuana can help alleviate my suffering and that of thousands of other New Yorkers.

"I hope the Senate will finally do the right thing and pass the Compassionate Care Act now," Romano said.

New York: Assembly To Vote On Comprehensive Medical Marijuana Bill


Patients and Caregivers from Across New York Come to Albany to Attend Floor Vote and Demand Passage in Senate

The New York State Assembly on Tuesday will vote on the Compassionate Care Act -- A.6357-B (Gottfried), New York’s comprehensive medical marijuana bill. The bill would help provide relief to thousands of New Yorker’s who are currently suffering with debilitating medical conditions such as, cancer, multiple sclerosis, severe seizure disorders, and other serious conditions.

Traveling from New York City, Westchester, and Central New York, patients will gather in Albany for an advocacy day and to hear the Assembly debate and vote on the bill. The bill would create one of the nation’s most tightly regulated medical marijuana programs and allow patients with seriously and debilitating conditions to access marijuana under the supervision of their healthcare provider.

What: Compassionate Care NY Advocacy Day

When: Tuesday, March 27th – Assembly Session at 2 PM

Location: New York State Capitol, Outside Assembly Chamber, Albany, NY

Who (patients and providers, including):

Holly Anderson, Rochester -- Breast Cancer Coalition of Rochester
Dawn Carney, Mount Vernon - Person living with HIV/AIDS
Nancy Rivera, Troy - Grandmother and four-time cancer survivor
Donna Romano, Syracuse - MS patient
Kate Hintz, North Salem- Mother of Morgan, who suffers from a severe and life-threatening seizure disorder

New York: Faith Leaders Join Patients, Families Calling On Legislature To Pass Medical Marijuana Bill


Dozens of Patients, Caregivers, Providers and Faith Leaders Travel from Across the State to Demand Passage of Compassionate Care Act

Advocates Call on New York Senate Leaders to Stop Delays and Allow a Vote to Stop the Needless Suffering of Sick New Yorkers

Dozens of patients, caregivers and healthcare providers on Wednesday travelled from all corners of New York -– including Buffalo, Long Island, Syracuse, Hudson Valley, and New York City -– to call on the Senate to pass the comprehensive medical marijuana proposal known as Compassionate Care Act. The Compassionate Care Act would allow seriously ill New Yorkers access to medical marijuana under the supervision of their healthcare provider.

The bill has passed the Assembly four times, was included in the Assembly’s budget proposal, and has strong bipartisan support in the Senate. But New York Senate leaders have refused to let the bill come up for a vote.

Patients and caregivers were joined by faith leaders who called on senate to stop delaying to show the sick suffering some compassion and mercy.

“As a Bishop and spiritual caregiver in New York City, I have met and spoken with hundreds of New Yorkers who are suffering with chronic illnesses,” said Bishop Dr. Michael Clark, Pastor at Redeemers Tabernacle and President of the NYPD 83rd Precinct Clergy Council. “It is my responsibility to them, and all New Yorkers to advocate for the passage of the Compassionate Care Act.

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