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Rochester Breast Cancer Group Supports Medical Marijuana

New York State will soon become the 21st state to legalize medical marijuana.
New York State will soon become the 21st state to legalize medical marijuana.

The Breast Cancer Coalition of Rochester supports the governor's move. But it is urging lawmakers to take action too. Medical marijuana legislation has come up before, but the State Senate has refused to hold any hearings. 

"We have a lot of patients for whom the very expensive anti-nausea drugs just do not work," executive director Holly Anderson said. "These are $80-$100 a pill and then to fill a prescription and have it not work well for you is really devastating."

"Of all our senators, only Senator Ted O'Brien is on the Health Committee. So we're really going to look to him to help us push the Health Committee to continue to move this legislation forward so it's not just the governor's executive action. That's going to make a difference. It's something we're pretty pleased about, but it's not going to be the whole enchilada here," Holly Anderson said. 

The Breast Cancer Coalition of Rochester released a statement saying, “We are deeply appreciative for Governor Cuomo’s leadership on this issue.  We have been frustrated by the NYS Senate’s failure to act for many years.  By moving to implement the 1980 Olivieri law, the Governor is doing everything he can within his executive power to help alleviate the suffering of some patients. The Governor understands, as many advocates do, that the Olivieri law was written nearly 35 years ago, and is unlikely to be sufficient enough to address the issues patients face in 2014 - and thus the legislature still needs to act. Comprehensive medical cannabis legislation has long languished in Albany. The Assembly has on four occasions passed the Compassionate Care Act, but the Senate has failed to take action or even hold a hearing on the issue. The Senate Health Committee has created a logjam by refusing to move the legislation to the floor for a vote- leaving New York the only state in the Northeast without a medical cannabis program.  It is incomprehensible that New Yorkers continue to suffer while residents in neighboring states can gain much-needed relief. This is not acceptable. We agree with Governor Cuomo- New York should have the best medical cannabis program in the country, and we’re going to double our efforts to get the Senate to finally pass the Compassionate Care Act so we can deliver it to the Governor for his signature.” 
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