The Remarks Of Speaker Sheldon Silver

Medical Marijuana Agreement

Capitol, The Red Room, Albany, NY
Thursday, June 19, 2014

Speaking for the Chair of our Committee on Health, Assembly Member Dick Gottfried, who has devoted a great deal of time studying the medical marijuana issue and has carried the Compassionate Care Act for 18 years in Albany

And on behalf of the members of the Assembly Majority, who have been passing this legislation since 2007

Let me say how pleased and relieved we are that this agreement has been reached.

I say "relieved," because there are New Yorkers all across our state - men, women and children who have severely debilitating illness or life-threatening conditions - whose only source of relief is safe and effective treatment with medical marijuana.

According to polls, the legalization of medical marijuana has overwhelming support in the State of New York.

With this agreement, we are assuring access to that much-needed relief while ensuring the tightest possible regulation and state supervision.

In addition to commending Chairman Gottfried for his years of study and advocacy, I really want to commend the person who brought it all together, and that's Governor Cuomo.

He took and balanced a fair bill that provides relief to patients yet guarantees the security that is necessary to the other citizens of the state.

And so, I want to commend you, Governor, for once again showing the leadership that is necessary to get things done here in New York State.

I also want to commend our colleagues in the Senate - Senator Klein, Senator Savino - for working in concert to reach consensus and allowing Dick Gottfried to impart his knowledge so that we could come up with this bill.

My thanks as well to Senator Andrea Stewart-Cousins for promising her support and that of her conference to make sure this bill passes the Senate.

Thank you all. This is a great day for New Yorkers.

Thank you.