Hoping to kick their MMJ program into high gear, on Wednesday Gov. Cuomo signed two new “emergency medical marijuana” bills into effect. The chronic new legislation is meant to help establish and expedite the distribution of medical marijuana to qualified patients throughout New York State.
On June 15, 2015 the New York legislature gave Assembly Bill 7060 and Senate Bill 5086 their unequivocal support; the passage of these two bills mandates that politicians in the Empire State are to create a new emergency medical marijuana program, thereby expediting the designation and distribution of medical marijuana to those critically ill patients.
Thankfully, Governor Cuomo signed on the dotted line … just a few short hours before the midnight deadline.
According to the Drug Policy Alliance, “After months of pressure from patients and advocates, Gov. Cuomo signed a bill today 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.”
While many are hopeful that New York’s medical marijuana program will roll out on time, becoming operational by January of 2016, there are serious concerns among some the program will fail to fire up as originally scheduled. As yet, New York’s political heavy hitters have yet to cultivate a realistic system for medical marijuana patients to register – let alone receive their meds.
Per the DPA, many received this announcement as nothing short of a lifesaver:
“I am so very relieved that Governor Cuomo has signed this bill,” explained Missy Miller of Atlantic Beach, whose son Oliver suffers from life-threatening seizures. “I once again have hope that I will be able to offer my son the chance at significant relief. This gives Oliver and the truly sickest patients across NY the opportunity to get access to medical marijuana expeditiously, thereby relieving suffering. This has been an incredibly long and difficult process, but I have renewed faith in my home state. This will become real to me when Oliver gets the medicine he needs.”
Unfortunately, the potential failure of New York’s MMJ program is a real concern for many. Thus far, the Empire State has struggled with the simple implementation of the Health Department’s online training course for doctors hoping to offer recommendations to the sick and suffering. As if that’s not enough to worry about, New York’s medical marijuana supporters are also concerned that none of the state’s designated dispensaries will be ready to start selling their meds by January 1, 2016.
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