Patients and Families Applaud Gov. Cuomo and Call on Health Department to Implement Law Quickly and Get Medicine to Critically Ill Patients
By Steve Elliott
After months of pressure from patients and advocates, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Wednesday signed a bill that will 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 bill was delivered to Governor on October 30, and he had until Wednesday to either sign or veto the bill.
The bill instructs the state to issue patient cards to qualified, critically ill patients as soon as possible, making it clear that they are medical marijuana patients and affording them some protection from law enforcement and child protective services.
"Patients in New York have waited long enough for legal access to medical cannabis," said Roger Volodarsky, founder and CEO of local Brooklyn-based vaporizer technology company Puffco. "It's outrageous that they have been forced to go years without relief while politicians procrastinate, but this new law means that the day when those who need marijuana-based medicine will be able to safely obtain it from legal businesses will be here sooner rather than later."