Last Tuesday, April 21, Assembly Health Committee Chair Richard Gottfried and Senate Health Committee Chair Tom Duane joined MPP's lobbyist Vince Marrone and two patients for a very successful press conference on the introduction of their identical medical marijuana bills, A. 7542 and S. 4041-A, in Albany. The press conference generated lots of positive media coverage across New York State.
The media is paying attention to this important issue. Now, patients need your help to make sure that state senators hear how much their constituents care about protecting patients.
Please call to urge your state senator to support Sen. Duane's bill. Then ask your friends and family to do the same. Don't forget to fill out the feedback form so you can let us know about your senator's response. While the Assembly has passed similar bills the past two years, the Senate has never had a floor vote on an effective medical marijuana bill. Every senator's vote is key and your feedback will help us determine where to focus our efforts.
At the press conference, two patients — Joel Peacock, a Buffalo chronic pain patient and Conservative party member, and Joe Gamble, a Syracuse-area Army veteran and former commercial pilot who suffers from multiple sclerosis — had the opportunity to share their stories with the media. Joel explained, "As a registered Conservative Party member, I believe in strong conservative values like compassion for the sick and dying. Seriously ill people have enough hardship — they shouldn't be arrested for easing their suffering." Later this week, the Syracuse Post-Standard published Joe's opinion piece.
Please call your state senator today. Then ask your friends and family to do the same. Also, if you are a patient, a loved one, a medical professional, or a member of law enforcement or clergy who might be interested in speaking out please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org to see how you can be of special help in passing this legislation. Please include your nine-digit zip code so we can identify your legislators, and please share your connection with medical marijuana.
The twin bills have a real chance of becoming law this year, but in order for that to happen it is crucial that senators realize this is an issue their constituents support. Today, the Assembly bill is already scheduled for its first committee vote of the year, and it has 49 co-sponsors. The Senate bill has 14 co-sponsors.
Thank you for supporting the Marijuana Policy Project. With your help, this can be the year that New York stops the cruel and senseless policy of arresting the seriously ill.
Marijuana Policy Project
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