Raia Rallies Support For Emergency Medical Marijuana Legislation

April 28, 2015

Anna Saini of VOCAL-NY speaks to press with Assemblyman Andrew Raia (center).

Today, Assemblyman Andrew Raia (R,I,C-East Northport) stood with patients, family members and activists to introduce legislation that would provide critically ill patients with emergency access to medical marijuana. Raia, the Ranking Minority Member of the Health Committee, joined Assembly Minority Leader Brian M. Kolb and Assemblyman Richard Gottfried in calling on Gov. Cuomo and the Department of Health to allow for safe and legal access to this potentially lifesaving treatment.

“Every time a child is struck with paralyzing pain, or has a preventable seizure, my heart breaks,” said Raia. “It’s just common sense that we would expedite access to a legal drug for children who are suffering and dying. Friends and family members suffering from a debilitating disease shouldn’t have to go to Colorado, Illinois, or any of the other 21 states that provide this treatment option, to seek medical marijuana. They should be able to go to their hometown doctor, receive a prescription and ease their pain and suffering. The legislation I co-sponsor will allow just that, not two years from now, but as soon as it’s signed into law. And if we can prevent one more child from dying, we have an obligation to pass this bill today.”

The Compassionate Care Act, which legalizes medical marijuana in New York, was passed into law last year, but not a single patient has received marijuana as a treatment. At least three children who would have benefited from this treatment have died since the bill was passed.