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The March for Compassion Video Series - Medical marijuana in New York

By Compassionate Care NY

This week: DPA’s Compassionate Care New York campaign launches a video series, as part of the March for Compassion.

Momentum is building to pass New York’s comprehensive medical marijuana bill, the Compassionate Care Act. Last week, State Assembly Health Committee Chairman Richard Gottfried (D, WFP – Manhattan) announced that the Assembly would include the comprehensive medical marijuana bill in their state budget proposal. The move assures that, for the first time ever, the Compassionate Care Act will be formally discussed in 2014 state budget negotiations between the Assembly, Senate and Governor.

The move comes after four Republican State Senators have added their voices to the chorus of support for the Compassionate Care Act: Senator George Maziarz (R – Newfane), Senator Mark Grisanti (R, IP – Buffalo), Senator Joe Robach (R, C, IP - Rochester) and Senator Tim O’Mara (R, C – Big Flats, Elmira). The senators garnered praise and thanks from patients around the state. Now, patients, families, caregivers and healthcare providers are echoing the call of these leaders to demand the Senate pass the Compassionate Care Act. After passing the Assembly four times, the bill is currently stuck in the Senate, despite the fact that there are enough votes for the bill to pass.

As the Senate delays, patients and families continue to suffer. To prod Albany into action, this month we launched March for Compassion, a month-long series of actions and events to educate New Yorkers about medical cannabis and build support for the measure.

The events include weekly education and lobby days in Albany and community forums around the state, focused on passing the Compassionate Care Act. It was at the first March for Compassion education and lobby day this week where Senator O’Mara, in a meeting with patients and caregivers, announced that he supports the Compassionate Care Act.

In addition to weekly education and lobby days, March for Compassion includes community forums around the state, where medical experts, patients and family members will address the benefits and risks of medical cannabis. Attendees will learn about the comprehensive Compassionate Care Act which would create a tightly regulated medical marijuana system in New York for those with serious and debilitating conditions. Currently scheduled forums include Buffalo (3/10), Capital Region (3/12), Mineola (3/13), Westchester (3/14), Brooklyn (3/19) and Syracuse (3/19).

And today, we’re releasing our first video in the March for Compassion series. This is the first of a series of videos we’ll release throughout March — stories of patients, family members, and healthcare providers, making the case for the Compassionate Care Act. Let us know what you think.

A recent Quinnipiac poll found 88% of New Yorkers support medical marijuana. Twenty states and the District Columbia have passed laws creating legal access to medical marijuana for seriously ill patients. It’s time for New York to join them.


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