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New York: Sen. Schumer Throws Weight Behind Federal Medical Marijuana Bill

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Senator Chuck Schumer Joins NY Senator Kirsten Gillibrand in Sponsoring the CARERS Act, a Bill that Would End Federal Prohibition of Medical Marijuana

New York Patients and Families Applaud Schumer for His Support

U.S. Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY) on Monday added his name to the Senate’s sweeping medical marijuana bill. The CARERS Act, introduced in March by Sens. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Cory Booker (D-NJ), and Rand Paul (R-KY), would end federal prohibition of medical marijuana, and remove barriers for research, veterans, and banking.

The move comes just days before New York State is expected to announce the names of five companies that will be allowed to produce medical marijuana in New York. New York’s medical marijuana program is expected to become fully operational in January 2016.

New York patients expressed their gratitude for Senator Schumer’s support.

“Chuck Schumer sided with patients and their families yesterday when he agreed to co-sponsor the CARERS Act,” said Kate Hintz of North Salem, N.Y., whose daughter Morgan suffers from a severe seizure disorder. “I’m proud to be from a state where both Senators – Gillibrand and Schumer – have recognized the importance of medical marijuana.

"Families, like mine, should be able to use medical marijuana when a doctor recommends it without having to worry about federal interference," Hintz said. "I hope the rest of our leaders in Washington will follow the lead of Senators Schumer and Gillibrand, act quickly to pass the CARERS Act, and help relieve patient suffering.”

New York: Legislature Passes Bipartisan Bill To Create Emergency Medical Marijuana Access

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Frustrated with Inaction, Patients and Families Demand Governor Sign the Bill into Law Immediately

In an unusual show of bipartisan support, the New York Senate on Monday night voted 50 to 12 in favor of a bill, sponsored by Senator Joe Griffo, that directs the state to establish a program to help critically ill patients obtain emergency access to medical marijuana as soon as possible.

The Assembly version, sponsored by Assemblyman Dick Gottfried, passed last week by an overwhelming majority (130-18). The bill now goes to Governor Andrew Cuomo for his signature or veto.

The passage of this bill comes almost exactly one year after the Legislature passed New York’s medical marijuana law and almost 10 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 medical marijuana, and at least four children, who might have benefitted from medical marijuana, have died since the governor signed the bill last year.

“Even though we worked tirelessly to pass New York’s medical marijuana law, for the past year, my family and I have continued to watch Oliver suffer relentless, damaging seizures, all the while knowing that there is a medicine that could help him,” said Missy Miller of Atlantic Beach, whose son Oliver suffers from life-threatening seizures. “Every day we go without this medicine is a day that Oliver loses ground, every day we live with the risk of him dying from these seizures.

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.

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