- The Weed Blog https://www.theweedblog.com

Another New York Child Dies Waiting For Emergency Access To Medical Marijuana


new york state marijuanaYesterday, 8 year old Donella Nocera of Niagra Falls passed away while waiting for emergency access to medical marijuana to ease her end-of-life suffering.

Donella was fighting stage 4 brain cancer. Her father, Nate, joined Compassionate Care NY from Donella’s bedside, fighting for emergency access for his daughter and pleading with Governor Cuomo to take action. This October, the Times-Union published Nate’s powerful op-ed about his fight to ease his daughter’s pain.

Statement by Nate Nocera, father of Donella: “More than five months after Governor Cuomo signed a bill into law that was meant to bring vital treatment to our family, my daughter Donella is dead. Governor Cuomo, I know you cannot turn back time to get us the medical marijuana that could have slowed the aggressive growth of the tumor in her brain. I know you cannot give us back the days, turned into weeks, turned into months that we lost Donella to a narcotic-induced sleep. But you have the power to end the needless suffering of so many New York families, and I urge you to use it. In the name of my little girl and at least two other children who have died waiting for medical marijuana, I urge you to take action. When you gather with your loved ones this holiday season, I ask that you keep my family in your heart as we suffer the loss of our dearest Donnie.”

Statement by Compassionate Care New York:  “Today the Compassionate Care New York family sends our deepest condolences to the Nocera family for the loss of their little girl, Donella. We are privileged to have experienced Donella’s fiercely beautiful spirit. We will honor and keep Donella alive in our hearts as we continue to fight for those in dire need of emergency access to medical marijuana. After Governor Cuomo signed the medical marijuana bill into law, he directed the Department of Health to expedite solutions for emergency access. But families are still waiting for relief, and the number of children suffering and dying continues to grow. Governor Cuomo has the power to end the needless suffering of New York patients and families. It is our sincerest hope that Donella’s passing will spur Governor Cuomo to take immediate, unequivocal action to provide emergency access to medical marijuana for those patients who cannot wait for the full system to come online next year. Because no family should suffer through needlessly losing their children, and no parent should have to watch their children suffer when relief is so close at hand.”

Compassionate Care NY is a statewide group of patients, providers and organizations working together to relieve the suffering of thousands of seriously ill New Yorkers by establishing a carefully regulated medical marijuana program in New York. The Compassionate Care NY Campaign is a project of the Drug Policy Alliance.

Source: Drug Policy Alliancemake a donation


About Author

Johnny Green


  1. You might want to check his executive order numbers, he’s the leader of the pack when it comes to using his pen for whatever strikes his fancy.
    He also had the house and senate majority for his first two years in office and he could easily made it happen at that time, but as usual he talked a good game with no action.
    This time actually read your history books…

  2. You are correct. Our government just has “two wings”. You wouldn’t think this issue would be such an issue but it is one of the biggest political footballs that has been thrown around on the political playing field for DECADES UPON DECADES. How many other political footballs have been tossed around for so long — very, very few.

    But the tide is turning, all so slowly. And now it IS finally speeding up. This issue is now on the side of the majority finally and it is only because the American public is finally wising up and realizing that their own government can be the most dishonest and lying entity that we face.
    It’s too bad that we see our government as our enemy but it IS true. No one trusts it and with good reason.

    This cannabis issue is just one example but if you look at the evidence in comparison what the American public has been told since 1937 to the point of nausea, this who cannabis has been one big lying campaign.

    The question is, WHEN will the MAJORITY finally be heard and have their wishes acted upon. EVERY state in the Union now has a majority of its residents support medical cannabis, if not total legalization to use AND cultivate.

    This is not only a medical, quality-of-life issue — it’s also a freedom-of-choice issue. And it has all been kept prisoner due to the position of action (or inaction) of our government — and that is sad, folks.

    Make sure that you, as an individual citizen, resident and VOTER are heard. This is the ONLY way this issue will be resolved once and for all. Support the legalization groups out there, make sure your representatives are fully aware of where you stand — as a VOTER — they want to keep their jobs and if that’s the mechanism that we have at hand to make this happen, then so be it.

    All of us supporters couldn’t care less how and why this issue gets resolved — we KNOW of the benefits already, so whatever agenda our representatives serve by making cannabis legal, so be it — JUST GET IT DONE!

    Ilion, NY

  3. I have a relative in the Midwest (I can’t be specific) that has resorted to using cannabis to treat her cancer. She is basically being treated somewhat experimentally with some medical professionals who wish to remain anonymous.

    My relative has sworn herself to secrecy due to some risks that not she is taking, but that they are taking as medical professionals. They are acting more as “consultants” whereby the actual treatment is being performed by a “select few” and herself.

    Guess what —- after two years of periodic chemo and radiation with minor positive results (but yet a number of adverse side effects), it appears that the cannabis treatment is working after only six months. She is not out of the woods yet, but everyone is overjoyed with the results — on a multitude of fronts.

    She is eating well, her white blood cell count is down demonstrably, the tumor size is at 50% of its peak size, she looks so much better and she is so much more active. ALL signs are positive where, by comparison, she was just regressing day after day after day — for two years.

    You’ll NEVER, NEVER convince her, these medical personnel or any of us in the family that these cannabis treatments are not related to her turnaround — NEVER in a million years.

  4. But this goes beyond life-and-death scenarios. What about QUALITY-OF-LIFE issues for the thousands upon thousands who can benefit by cannabis? We don’t count?

    Dictator Cuomo needs to step aside and allow this LEGALIZATION issue to make it to a ballot initiative where the voters of New York State can go to the polls and vote as residents. We don’t need Cuomo nor our state legislators hang this up in the state bureaucracy.

    This issue needs to make it on a BALLOT INITIATIVE — that’s the ONLY way that the will of the majority can be heard.

    Ilion, NY

  5. A Hopeful Nurse on

    No, I believe the ‘snail’s pace’ at decriminalizing weed is due to the fact that there are way too many ‘recreational’ drug users, rather than people seeking to use it medically. I think once there’s a balance, the pendulum will swing out the other way, if ever there is a balance, that is.

    The American Nurses Association supports ‘safe access to medical marijuana’ and has for several years. And the recent documentary by Dr. Sanjay Gupta on CNN called ‘Weed’ was an eye-opener for many medical professionals. It’s interesting to me that prior to 1937, when cannabis was outlawed in this country, that physicians prescribed it openly everywhere. As Dr. Gupta pointed out in the documentary: “We’ve been lied to!” We’ve all been lied to by the government, with ridiculous propaganda films like “Reefer Madness” and such!

    It will take time, but I believe we’ll see a full scale turn around in our lifetime, even though the pharmaceutical companies are fighting tooth and nail to keep weed criminalized! Imagine the money they’re going to lose once cannabis is legal …

  6. More proof, that the state has only corruption and spite for the cannabis community
    human rights need to be observed, take away the notion of states rights, states can be evil

  7. I beg to differ. The President is not up against the tyranny. He is part of it. We don’t have two parties in America. We have one. With two wings.

    If I was to get all political about this I would guess that the tyrants have come to the conclusion that Prohibition has outlived its usefulness. It is why we are getting minimal resistance for legalization. I have felt this way for several years now. The biggest blow America could give its enemies world wide is the legalization of ALL drugs.

    Key recent indicator? Newt “Death For Two Ounces Of Pot” Gingrich came out for decrim of heroin in CA. It passed.

    We are not getting much opposition for legalization. But the speed is up to us. They won’t hinder us much. But they won’t help. The reason for that? They want it to be seen as a change in popular opinion.

    I expect that the schedule hearings in CA have been thrown so that Obama does not have to do the “dirty deed” himself. He can blame it on the courts.

  8. Anyone of us who is aging, meaning all of us, should be interested in having access to the health benefits of marijuana. Any herb, with the qualities of marijuana, should not be an illegal drug.

    If I need it someday, I want to access it! Our rights as Americans seem to be eroding over time, but I will say that if we speak out and make lawmakers change to what we want instead of what they think we want we will finally see victory on this issue.
    Please people, speak out, contact representatives and senators, post your thoughts, use social media, stop the useless imprisonment of non-violent drug offenders, change will only come if we make it happen.

  9. We must legalize and stop the war on citizens. I use nothing, I don’t even drink but I am not close minded and know that marijuana prohibition is idiotic, just as alcohol prohibition was in the past.
    Speak out and contact your representatives. We can change things for the better quicker than we think.
    Look at gay marraige as an obvious example of sweeping change happening finally, quickly and about darned time. Not gay either, just open minded to real life.

  10. Lawrence Goodwin on

    My sincere condolence to Nate Nocera and all of Donella’s family and friends. What a lovable little girl she was. It breaks hearts that she had to suffer and pass so young from a cancerous tumor. I am so sorry for your loss.

    I agree with you M.Simon, but the president is up against–we are all up against–one of the most powerful and effective tyrannies the world has ever known. History books will prove me right. This tyranny STOLE medical cannabis from Americans in 1937, and refuses to give it back. The president has little power over this unholy alliance of arrogant lawmakers, greedy corporate executives and yellow journalists, all woefully biased against cannabis plants, who keep depriving citizens of their basic rights to life (see story above), liberty and the pursuit of happiness (think about the thousands of women and men trapped in New York state’s criminal justice system for nonviolent “marijuana” offenses. Now, show me ANY reporter who seeks out and interviews these individuals to tell THEIR side of the story).

    State by state, though, the people are demanding and taking medical cannabis back. And cannabis hemp. Even recreational cannabis. It’s not rocket science to put cannabis seeds in dirt, add regular water and TLC, and provide lots of bright, constant light (for the 1st month or so indoors, then you change to a 12-hour cycle of dark for quicker flowering.) It was done legally for the first 160 years of United States history, and the legalization train is roaring down the tracks once again.

  11. This is a re-post of an earlier comment of mine — I hope the moderator will allow me to re-post it.

    The need to immediately legalize Marijuana nationally is the most pressing moral issue of our time.
    More and more present and former members of law enforcement agree.

    Please see http://www.leap.cc/

    I’m a Scientist. Not a politician, not a Cop.

    Like the majority of Americans, I strongly support the immediate, complete legalization of Marijuana.

    But as a Scientist with a strong interest in Cancer research, I feel even more strongly about the need for its immediate legalization of it for Medical use, and the need to ensure that no Cancer patient is denied it.

    Dying of Cancer sucks, ask, anyone doing it.

    Cancer patients can’t wait.

    I urge everyone reading this to PLEASE call and email the Attorney General, the press, Congress and the President today.
    Its amazing what a few well written editorials and interviews on news programs can do.

    Medical Marijuana not only helps with Cancer therapy, seizures, PTSD and chronic pain, but has helped countless Americans, including countless veterans stop using Alcohol, and hard drugs, both legal and illegal ones.

    Every minute an American dies of Cancer.
    Every 19 minutes an American dies of a prescription drug overdose.
    Many vets become addicted to prescription opiates and die from them.

    NOBODY has ever died from smoking too much pot.
    Lots of people’s stage 4 Cancer has been cured by high dose Medical Marijuana oil, and every Cancer patient that uses Marijuana to ease their suffering benefits greatly from doing so.

    It is immoral to leave Marijuana illegal, for anyone, for even a second longer.
    But for Cancer patients, its a matter of life and death.
    Cancer patients can’t wait

    Medical Marijuana has an unmatched safety profile, and for people who suffer from so many diseases of so many kinds its a medical miracle, and the scientific evidence behind it is rock solid.

    For example, Medical Marijuana encourages apoptosis and autophagy of Cancer cells, while leaving normal cells untouched, is anti-angigogenic, anti-proliferative, and is anti-angiogenic.

    Its also synergistic with chemotherapy and radiation therapy, making both more effective.

    For many Cancer patients its meant the difference between life and death.

    For everyone else, its a far safe alternative to Alcohol, and infinitely safer than Cigarettes.

    Either take them off the market too, or legalize Marijuana right now.

    2016 is too far away, Its too long to wait. Every year we lose more Americans to Cancer than died in WWII.

    Between now and the 2016 elections, roughly 1 MILLION Americans will die of Cancer.

    And Its a horrible way to die.

  12. Cancer kills 586,000 Americans every year. Every Prohibitionist is complicit in mass murder.

    Yeah. That is kinda difficult to live with . Germany did not recover from its contact with mass murder for 50 years. And the stigma still lives on. I expect we will be no different.

    The only saving grace for us is that all the rest of the world is complicit too. And we are among the first in reversing the trend.

  13. The sad part is that they’re almost forced to wait until they retire to speak out against injustice or else their careers are usually ruined. It’s getting better now that more momentum for legalization is going, but it’s still very disproportionate to the harm that prohibition is causing.

  14. I’m going to be passing this on . My first step is a blog post: http://classicalvalues.com/2014/12/merry-fn-christmas-prohibitionists/

    The Prohibitionists are involved in mass murder. The Reagan administration tried to suppress the finding that cannabis is effective against cancer. You can look it up. Of course the Democrats did nothing when they had a chance.

    Cannabis cures cancer. Cancer kills 586,000 Americans every year. Every Prohibitionist is complicit in mass murder.

    Say Mr. President. Obama When are you going to reschedule?

  15. I wonder. Is the snail’s pace movement towards legalization because people don’t want to admit to themselves all of the damage that they’ve done in ignorantly supporting the war on cannabis/drugs? It’s really hard to reconcile with yourself when you realize that you’ve been living/supporting a lie, especially when that lie has ruined the lives of millions of people while causing even more harm than the truth.

    There are a number of issues that this applies to, but I think it’s a big part of why all of them are struggling.

  16. I can understand the passion of people who want to end prohibition, but not that of people who want to continue it.

    Everyone should look at the website of LEAP – Law Enforcement Against Prohibition.They are current and former members of Law Enforcement, DEA, FBI, Customs, Prosecutors, Judges, and the former heads of the DEA’s of other countries.

    Starting many years ago, they realized that the “War on Drugs” was actually Prohibition all over again with all of the same problems that it had the first time, and they speak from experiences that only people who have been in Law Enforcement and seen the harm its misuse can do to society can.

    They deserve the appreciation of all Americans for taking a brave stand on the biggest moral issue of our time, long before it was fashionable.

    Throughout America, police departments have a policy of not invading or arresting middle class Marijuana users. Now is the time to first extend that practice to Americans of all income levels, and most importantly, to end Prohibition once and for all.


    My particular passion is for Cancer patients. I’ve seen too many people die of Cancer, and dying of Cancer sucks — ask anyone doing it.

    The white house comment line is (202) 456-1111 and you can email the President at whitehouse.gov by going to their website and clicking on “contact us”

    You can find your Senator and Representatives on the web and they have phone numbers and email as well.

    Email them and call them.
    Then call the NYT, WP and every other major newspaper.

    Every minute an American dies of Cancer.
    And its a horrible way to die!

Leave A Reply