Lawmakers urged by advocates of Medical Pot for speedy approval

Advocates of the medical marijuana urge lawmakers for the swift passage of the bill, which allows for immediate emergency medical access to the drug,  as epileptic patients eagerly awaits its passage for them to obtain the medicinal marijuana to aid with their seizures.

Sponsored by Richard Gottfried, chair of the Assembly Health Committee and Brian Kolb, the Republican Minority Leader, the law authorizes New Yorkers to expedite the access of  medical pot for patients with special needs. It also allows for swift licensing of entrepreneurs that grow and sell the medicinal plant.

The bill, which backers claim would favorably affect hundreds of patients, is currently in the Assembly Codes Committee, which has the authority to send it to be considered in the full Assembly.

Manufacturers are not yet set to received license to make their drugs  until summer. However, Gottfried said it is not clear if  the government will prohibit the importation of medical pot from other states where it is legal. He said there are businesses which are able to provide the drug to the state.

Gottfried said Gov. Andrew Cuomo should at least urge for the passage of the bill.

“Governors in other states have figured out a way to use their strength as governor, rather than as a beggar, to get that drug available to their population immediately.  New York’s governor should be doing that.”

Though politicians seem to be against its passage in both the houses of Legislature in June.

But the bill has no state Senate backer, nevertheless Gottfried and Kolb said they are both working to build back up from members of the Republican majority.  Gottfried said the governor’s office is not receptive to the bill.

The governor has instead opted to go slow on the adaptation of a medical pot system, and instead pushed for a “seed-to-sale” system that has no importation from out of the state. He together with the  Legislature has structured a strict and limited platform in June 2014.

“Our top priority is to deliver relief to those in pain and we are doing so as expeditiously as possible under current federal guidelines and within the confines of the Compassionate Care Act, which Assemblyman Gottfried sponsored, supported and passed through his own house,” a spokesman for Cuomo, Rich Azzopardi said Tuesday.

“The last thing that anyone would want is legal complications to arise from importing marijuana products over state lines without federal approval,” Azzopardi added.



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