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.