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What Will It Take For New York To Legalize Medical Marijuana?


New York medical marijuanaNew York has been in the news a lot lately regarding efforts to legalize medical marijuana. Recent polling shows that an overwhelming majority of voters in New York support such a proposal. There’s legislation that is working it’s way around the halls of the capital that would legalize marijuana. Politicians are supposed to be carrying out the will of the people, so what is the hold up? I have always felt that if the will of the people shows overwhelming support for something, then politicians should follow suit by giving the people what they want. But then again, I’m sure everyone has felt that way for a long time, and it hasn’t affected the dysfunctional system that is American politics!

So what will it take to change politician’s minds in New York about their opposition to legalizing medical marijuana? We know polls won’t do it. We know that scientific proof won’t do it. So what will? People need to keep pressure on their representatives and senators and let them know that they won’t accept all the foot-dragging. There was a rally this last week that was aimed at showing medical marijuana politicians how much support there is for medical marijuana in New York. I hope to see more of these in the near future:

Long Island Patients and Community Members Rally in Long Island in Support of Medical Marijuana Bill

Senate Has Yet to Vote on Bill Supported by 82% of New Yorkers and Hundreds of New York Doctors and Patients

Advocates Urge Senate to Pass the Bill Before the End of Legislation Session Next Week

Garden City, Long Island – Today, patients and community members from across Long Island gathered at the Garden City, LIRR train station to mobilize supporters of New York’s medical marijuana bill. They collected signatures and handed out flyers urging their neighbors to contact senate leadership and demand a vote on the Compassionate Care Act (A. 6357-Gottfreid / S. 4406- Savino) before the end of the legislative session on June 20th. The bill, which would create one of the nation’s most tightly regulated medical marijuana programs, would allow seriously ill patients access to a small amount of marijuana under the supervision of their healthcare provider.

A recent poll by Siena College founds that an astonishing 82% of New York voters, including 81% of both Democrats and Republicans support medical marijuana for seriously ill patients. Earlier this month, the Assembly passed the bill with bipartisan vote of 99-41, the widest margin of the four times the bill has been passed in that chamber.

“We hit the streets of Long Island today to urge our neighbors to support the bill and to show our leaders in Albany how badly this legislation is needed,” said lifelong Long Island resident Tracy Ofri, who was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 1978. “I run a support group for people living with MS on Long Island. Like me, many of the members want the option of talking to their doctors and using medical marijuana to help ease pain and spasticity when other treatments fail. It’s time for our leaders in Albany to listen to the voters and show some compassion,” she said.

Despite broad popular support, the Senate has never let the bill, which is sponsored by Independent Democratic Conference member Senator Diane Savino, come to the floor for a vote. Long Island Senators, including Majority Leader Dean Skelos and Health Chair Kemp Hannon, have the power to bring the bill to the senate floor for a vote.

Vivien Foldes, a Long Island resident said, “I have survived cancer, and I live with multiple sclerosis.  I know medical marijuana can help both conditions.  I came out today to urge the New York Senate to show compassion for me and the thousands of other people in New York who could benefit from medical marijuana,” she said.

Given the broad support of patients, caregivers, health providers and the general public, a growing number of New Yorkers are calling for an immediate vote on the bill.

“As someone living with the painful condition of fibromyalgia, I want to see this bill come up for a vote in the Senate.  This is sensible and compassionate legislation that could help ease the pain of thousands of New Yorkers living with serious illnesses,” said Long Island resident, Donna Schwier. “I hope the senate will act before the end of the session next week; it’s not fair to make sick New Yorkers wait another year.”

Eighteen states and the District Columbia have passed laws creating legal access to medical marijuana for seriously ill patients, and physicians in every state bordering New York – except Pennsylvania – have the ability to recommend this effective and safe treatment for their patients.

Dr. Robert Fuentes, MD, who lives and works on Long Island and has been an internist for more than 30 years said: “The evidence supporting the efficacy of medical marijuana for certain conditions has been firmly established. As a doctor, I want what is best for my patients, and in some case, that may mean recommending the use of cannabis. My hope is that Senate will do what’s best for seriously ill New Yorkers and bring this bill for a vote.”

A significant body of scientific evidence has established the efficacy of medical cannabis for conditions such as multiple sclerosis, pain and muscle spasms and to stimulate appetite and weight gain in patients with wasting syndromes.

The bill has the support of NY Physicians for Compassionate Care, a group of more than 600 New York doctors who support the use of medical marijuana for seriously ill patients under the supervision of a healthcare provider. The bill also enjoys wide support from other healthcare organizations, such as the New York State Nurses Association, the Collaborative for Palliative Care, GMHC, New York State Pharmacists Society, and the Hospice and Palliative Care Association of New York.

The bill would create a tightly regulated system overseen by the New York State Department Health (DOH).  Only patients with a serious, debilitating or life-threatening illness are eligible, and all patients must be certified by their own healthcare practitioner as someone who could benefit from the therapeutic or palliative properties of medical marijuana.  Certified patients then register with DOH to receive a card that allows then legally purchase small amounts of medical marijuana from facilities licensed and regulated by the State.

“We can’t allow the suffering of our sickest citizens to continue” said Julie Netherland, spokesperson for Compassionate Care New York. “Doctors want this option for their patients, patients need relief, and four out of every five New Yorkers support the measure. It’s time for the Senate to show a little compassion and common sense and pass this bill now.”

Source: Drug Policy Alliancemake a donation


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Johnny Green


  1. I totally agree… alcohol does worse and kills a lot more ppl than marijuana does. I would sign any petition to legalize marijuana just because I believe it does more good than harm. Whether used for medicinal or rec. purposes it doesn’t kill ppl.

  2. It is ironic that in a Country where we eat too much, drink too much, and smoke(cigarettes) too much, and then we complain to the Government about the over crowded healthcare system. It is still legal to purchase the things that are actually killing us, but marijuana is the scary herb. I’v gotten poison ivy/poison oak several times, now that stuff should be illegal. Sugar and unhealthy fats are the biggest factor in degenerative diseases, and they are still legal? No wonder our children are confused.

  3. Marijuana is a plant, it grows naturally. How can you illegalize a plant? That’s like outlawing rocks because they might hit someone. Come on NY get your head on strait.

  4. Medical marijuana should be available to all of America! Marijuana works very well for pain management. Unless someone has tried cannabis for pain, they should not venture the opinion that it doesn’t work for medical purposes. Pain management with cannabis requires the right dosage. Using marijuana edibles is the right way to maintain pain reduction. This book has great recipes for edible marijuana that are easy, small and cheap to make: MARIJUANA – Guide to Buying, Growing, Harvesting, and Making Medical Marijuana Oil and Delicious Candies to Treat Pain and Ailments by Mary Bendis, Second Edition. Only 2.99. Learn to make marijuana oil, delicious Cannabis Chocolates, and tasty Dragon Teeth Mints.

  5. The problem is there are too many people out there that will abuse this bill in order to profit from it.

    It is the same as what phony pain management patients do with their narcotic pain medications every month by selling them to their local drug dealer who pays them for their prescription and jacks up the prices and sells them to addicts on the street. I have been offered money from numerous strangers that see my condition and ask me a million questions to see what I am taking and if I’ll sell my prescriptions to them and it makes me sick. We as a society need to put an end to this and keep what is made for relief out of the hands of drug dealers. If people out there want to get HIGH then buy the drugs that are for that not the ones made to help people’s suffering. I am in full support of legalizing medical marijuana and I hope it can help me with the numerous problems I have and lessen the half a dozen meds I have to take for them, but recreational is what most people really want and they’re just mad they can’t fool everyone. So please have some compasion for those who really need something and stop the bullshit. Support medical marijuana for what it is truely intended for right now, and stop worrying cause eventually the federal goverment will legalize it for all to consume.

  6. This is so ridiculous, we shouldn’t have to fight our representatives THEY ARE SUPPOSE TO BE HONORING OUR WISHES! If they aren’t that means they aren’t doing their job, which mean we should have their asses fired!

  7. Iv seen them advertise on craiglist and my buddy told me hes tried it out once with success. So I believe that.

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