Tag: Medical Marijuana Bills

New York Governor Signs Medical Marijuana Emergency Access Bill

New York Governor Signs Medical Marijuana Emergency Access Bill

Patients and Families Applaud Gov. Cuomo and Call on Health Department to Implement Law Quickly and Get Medicine to Critically Ill Patients

NEW YORK, NY — After months of pressure from patients and advocates, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo signed a bill Wednesday that will expedite access to medical marijuana for critically ill patients in the Empire State.

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.

The bill was delivered to Governor on October 30th, and he had until Wednesday to either sign or veto the bill. The bill instructs the state to issue patient cards to qualified, critically ill patients as soon as possible, making it clear that they are medical marijuana patients and affording them some protection from law enforcement and child protective services.

Yesterday, patients, families, and advocates rallied outside Governor Cuomo’s Manhattan office to urge the governor to sign the bill. People living with HIV/AIDS and community organizing groups like VOCAL NY and ACT UP stood in solidarity with those advocating for emergency access outside the Governor’s Office, recalling a time when they were also denied access to life-saving medications.

“I am so very relieved that Governor Cuomo has signed this bill,” said 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.”

Since the medical marijuana law passed a year ago, not one patient in New York has been able to access medical marijuana. Tragically, at least four children who would have likely benefited from it have died while waiting to obtain this much-needed medicine.

Just last month, longtime medical marijuana advocate Beverly McClain, who had metastatic cancer, passed away without ever benefiting from the law she helped pass.

New York’s medical marijuana program is slated to become operational in January of 2016, but some fear that program will not come on line as scheduled. The state has yet to launch a system for patients to register and just unveiled the mandatory doctor training in mid-October.

Recent media accounts suggest that several of the planned dispensaries are having trouble finalizing sites. With only 20 dispensaries statewide for almost 20 million people across 54,000 square miles, the failure of even one dispensary to open is problematic, especially to those who are critically ill.

“We’re heartened that Governor Cuomo did the right thing and signed this emergency bill,” said Julie Netherland, New York deputy state director at the Drug Policy Alliance.  “Patients in New York are suffering, and some patients’ lives are at risk every day they are forced to wait.  There’s no real victory until critically ill patients get their medicine.”


Thank you for visiting MDMMCC.com, the premier Medical Marijuana Certification Center in Maryland. Our Mission at the Maryland Medical Marijuana Certification Clinics (MDMMCC) is to provide the certification necessary for qualified patients to obtain Medical Marijuana in compliance with the Maryland Medical Marijuana Laws in the State of Maryland.  MDMMCC will have offices open throughout Maryland.

Time is Running Out for PA House to Act on Medical Marijuana

Time is Running Out for PA House to Act on Medical Marijuana

It has been almost six months since the Senate passed sensible medical cannabis legislation. Seriously ill patients have been suffering while waiting for the House to take action. They should not have to wait one more day.

HARRISBURG, PA — With very few session days remaining this year, Republican leadership in Pennsylvania still has not introduced medical marijuana legislation in the House. Early reports about the contents of the draft still raise serious concerns — including a 10% THC cap, an explicit prohibition on dried flowers and plants, and no immediate legal protections for patients.

It has been almost six months since the Senate passed sensible medical cannabis legislation. Seriously ill patients have been suffering while waiting for the House to take action. They should not have to wait one more day.

It is time for the House to vote on comprehensive and compassionate medical marijuana legislation. Let them know that Pennsylvanians are tired of waiting. They need to do it right! Do it now! Let them know that compassionate use legislation should be focused on the needs of patients and not politics as usual.

Urge them to tell leadership our concerns and to demand safe and affordable access for Pennsylvania’s most fragile citizens.

If you are a Pennsylvania resident, please call your representative today! Let him or her know it is critical that these problems are addressed and the bill is brought to the floor for a vote immediately. You can click here to find your representative’s contact information along with talking points to guide your call.


Thank you for visiting MDMMCC.com, the premier Medical Marijuana Certification Center in Maryland. Our Mission at the Maryland Medical Marijuana Certification Clinics (MDMMCC) is to provide the certification necessary for qualified patients to obtain Medical Marijuana in compliance with the Maryland Medical Marijuana Laws in the State of Maryland.  MDMMCC will have offices open throughout Maryland.

US Senate Approves Funding Bill That Allows Veterans to Access Medical Marijuana

US Senate Approves Funding Bill That Allows Veterans to Access Medical Marijuana

WASHINGTON, DC — The United States Senate on Tuesday passed the FY2016 Military Construction and Veterans Affairs (MilCon-VA) Appropriations Bill, which includes language to allow Veterans Administration (VA) doctors to recommend medical marijuana to their patients in states where medical marijuana is legal. The language was included as an amendment in the Senate Appropriations committee in May.

“Veterans in medical marijuana states should be treated the same as any other resident, and should be able to discuss marijuana with their doctor,” said Michael Collins, deputy director of national affairs for the Drug Policy Alliance. “It makes no sense that a veteran can’t use medical marijuana if it helps them and it is legal in their state.”

The Veterans Equal Access Amendment was sponsored by Republican Senator Steve Daines of Montana and Democratic Senator Jeff Merkley of Oregon. It passed the Committee 18-12 in a bipartisan vote. The funding bill will now be negotiated with the House’s version as part of an omnibus spending bill.

“On this eve of Veterans/Armistice Day where we remember those who served in the military and the treaty agreement to reach peace concluding WWI, we see this victory as a step toward a peace treaty with the government we volunteered to defend with our lives and as a step toward restoring our first amendment rights and dignity as citizens of the United States, ” said TJ Thompson, a disabled Navy veteran.

Currently, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) specifically prohibits its medical providers from completing forms brought by their patients seeking recommendations or opinions regarding participation in a state medical marijuana program. The Daines-Merkley amendment authorizes VA physicians and other health care providers to provide recommendations and opinions regarding the use of medical marijuana to veterans who live in medical marijuana states.

In 2002, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed in Conant v. Walters the right of physicians to recommend medical marijuana, regardless of its illegality under federal law, as well as the right of patients to receive accurate information. The Daines-Merkley amendment supports that first amendment right and restores a healthy doctor-patient relationship.

There are numerous federal healthcare programs besides the VA such as Medicaid, Medicare, and CHIP – but only the VA prohibits physicians from discussing and recommending medical marijuana to their patients. A Medicare patient may freely discuss medical marijuana use with her doctor, while a returning veteran is denied the same right.

Studies have shown that medical marijuana can help treat post-traumatic stress and traumatic brain injury, illnesses typically suffered by veterans. A 2014 study of people with PTSD showed a greater than 75% reduction in severity of symptoms when patients were using marijuana to treat their illness, compared to when they were not.

A legislative version of the Daines-Merkley amendment was included in groundbreaking Senate medical marijuana legislation introduced in March. The Compassionate Access, Research Expansion and Respect States (CARERS) Act is the first-ever bill in the U.S. Senate to legalize marijuana for medical use and the most comprehensive medical marijuana bill ever introduced in Congress. The bill was introduced by Senators Cory Booker (D-NJ), Rand Paul (R-KY), and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) and generated enormous interest.

With the Senate approving one element in the bill, supporters say it is time for the Senate Judiciary Committee to hold hearings on the full bill.

“The politics around marijuana have shifted in recent years, yet Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley hasn’t held a hearing on the bill,” said Bill Piper, director of national affairs for the Drug Policy Alliance. “We will move the CARERS Act piece by piece if we have to but now is the time for the Senate to hold a hearing on the bill as a whole.”


Thank you for visiting MDMMCC.com, the premier Medical Marijuana Certification Center in Maryland. Our Mission at the Maryland Medical Marijuana Certification Clinics (MDMMCC) is to provide the certification necessary for qualified patients to obtain Medical Marijuana in compliance with the Maryland Medical Marijuana Laws in the State of Maryland.  MDMMCC will have offices open throughout Maryland.

Patients to Rally at New York Governor’s Office for Emergency Access to Medical Marijuana

Patients to Rally at New York Governor’s Office for Emergency Access to Medical Marijuana

Bill That Would Provide Faster Relief to Suffering Patients Passed NYS Legislature with Overwhelming Bipartisan Support But Needs Cuomo’s Signature to Become Law

NEW YORK, NY — One day before the deadline for Governor Cuomo to sign or veto a bill that would create emergency access to medical marijuana, patients and advocates will rally outside his office to demand action.

  • When: Tuesday, November 10th, 10:00 AM
  • Where: Outside Governor Cuomo’s NYC Offices; 633 Third Avenue, New York, NY

Since the medical marijuana law passed a year ago, not one patient in New York has been able to access medical marijuana and at least four children, who could have likely benefited from it, have tragically died while waiting to obtain this much-needed medicine.

The emergency access bill was passed with overwhelming bipartisan support by the New York State legislature last June and delivered to Governor Cuomo on October 30th. He has ten days to sign or veto the bill, making the deadline for action November 11th.

Since last July, advocates have been pressuring the Cuomo Administration to create an interim emergency access program for patients who may not survive the eighteen months or longer that the Governor has said he needs to get the full medical marijuana program up and running. After the Governor’s Office failed to take action, advocates turned to the legislature.

“We’ve been waiting an outrageous 15 months for expedited access to medical marijuana,” said Missy Miller of Atlantic Beach, whose son Oliver suffers from life-threatening seizures. “Every day we wait is a day I watch my son lose ground. We can’t afford any more delays. And delays seem likely considering I have not heard even one word about how to register my son for this program and many of the dispensaries are having difficulties securing their sites. Governor Cuomo should finally do the right thing and sign the bill so families like mine can get long awaited help.”

In June, with overwhelming bipartisan support, both houses of the legislature passed A.7060 (Gottfried) / S.5086 (Griffo), a bill that would direct the state to establish a program to help critically ill patients obtain emergency access to medical marijuana as soon as possible. It also instructs the state to issue patient cards to critically ill patients who qualify as soon as possible making it clear that they are medical marijuana patients and affording them some protection from law enforcement and child protective services.

On Tuesday, advocates will rally outside the Governor’s office to urge him to sign the bill or take other action to help patients in desperate need.

New York’s medical marijuana program is slated to become operational in January of 2016, but the state has yet to launch a system for patients to register and just unveiled the mandatory doctor training in mid-October. Advocates have expressed concern that too few doctors will be trained and too few patients able to register in time to take advantage of the program come January. The emergency access bill would afford the Department of Health additional tools to expedite access to the critically ill in case of delays.

“With less than three months to go before New York’s medical marijuana program is slated to roll out, I’m really concerned that there could be delays in the program,” said Maryanne Houser of Suffern. “My daughter Amanda has been waiting since July of 2014 when she stood next to Governor Cuomo at the bill signing and he promised to help her. He can help her now by signing the emergency access bill.”


Thank you for visiting MDMMCC.com, the premier Medical Marijuana Certification Center in Maryland. Our Mission at the Maryland Medical Marijuana Certification Clinics (MDMMCC) is to provide the certification necessary for qualified patients to obtain Medical Marijuana in compliance with the Maryland Medical Marijuana Laws in the State of Maryland.  MDMMCC will have offices open throughout Maryland.

New York: Medical Marijuana Emergency Access Bill Delivered to Governor’s Desk

New York: Medical Marijuana Emergency Access Bill Delivered to Governor’s Desk

Advocates: Not One Patient Has Yet Received Medical Marijuana and Four Children Have Died Waiting in the Past 15 Months; Cuomo Must Sign or Take Other Action to Provide Relief to Suffering Patients

ALBANY, NY — Friday, the New York State Assembly delivered to Governor Andrew Cuomo a bill to expedite access to medical marijuana for critically ill patients.  Cuomo now has ten days to sign or veto the bill.

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.

“The law that created New York’s medical marijuana program was passed in 2014 and is supposed to be up and running by January 2016. But there remains a real danger that many seriously ill patients will not be able to access medical marijuana, and their conditions will deteriorate, potentially jeopardizing their lives,” said Assembly sponsor Richard N. Gottfried, who chairs the Assembly Health Committee. “Many of these patients are young children with severe forms of epilepsy who have been successfully treated with particular forms of medical marijuana in other states. I have been in discussions with the Cuomo administration about the bill for months and have answered every question raised by the Governor’s staff; I am not aware of any argument against the bill.”

The bill instructs the state to issue patient cards to qualified, critically ill patients as soon as possible, making it clear that they are medical marijuana patients and affording them protection from law enforcement and child protective services.

“We’ve been waiting an outrageous 15 months for expedited access to medical marijuana,” said Missy Miller of Atlantic Beach, whose son Oliver suffers from life-threatening seizures. “Every day we wait is a day I watch my son lose ground. We can’t afford any more delays. And delays seem likely considering I have not heard even one word about how to register my son for this program and many of the dispensaries are having difficulties securing their sites. Governor Cuomo should finally do the right thing and sign the bill so families like mine can get long awaited help.”

Since the medical marijuana law passed a year ago, not one patient in New York has been able to access medical marijuana.  Tragically, at least four children who would have likely benefited from it have died while waiting to obtain this much-needed medicine. Just last month, longtime medical marijuana advocate Beverly McClain, who had metastatic cancer, passed away without ever benefiting from the law she helped pass.

“With less than three months to go before New York’s medical marijuana program is slated to roll out, I’m really concerned that there could be delays in the program,” said Maryanne Houser of Suffern. “My daughter Amanda has been waiting since July of 2014 when she stood next to Governor Cuomo at the bill signing and he promised to help her. He can help her now by signing the emergency access bill.”

New York’s medical marijuana program is slated to become operational in January of 2016, but the state has yet to launch a system for patients to register and just unveiled the mandatory doctor training in mid-October. Advocates have expressed concern that too few doctors will be trained and too few patients able to register in time to take advantage of the program come January.

“As a doctor and the parent of a child with a seizure disorder, I’m disappointed the state hasn’t acted sooner to get medicine to the critically ill,” said Amy Piperato, M.D., of Thiells. “With the physician training just coming online a few weeks ago and still no system for registering patients, I’m convinced the program won’t be operational in January. The Governor should sign this bill so critically ill patients can get access as soon as possible.”

In addition, recent media accounts suggest that several of the planned dispensaries are having trouble finalizing sites. With only 20 dispensaries statewide for almost 20 million people across 54,000 square miles, the failure of even one dispensary to open is significant, especially to those who are critically ill.

“If one of the twenty dispensaries fails to open in January, that could pose a real hardship for patients who may already be facing drives over an hour to access the medicine,” said Kathy Annable of Marcellus whose daughter suffers from severe seizures. “My daughter Kaylie cannot keep waiting. We need an emergency access system so that people in life-threatening situations, like my daughter, can get medicine immediately.”

Since July, advocates have been pressuring the Cuomo administration to create an interim emergency access program for patients who may not survive the eighteen months or longer that the Governor has said is needed to get the full medical marijuana program up and running. The original version of New York’s medical marijuana bill included a provision to provide emergency access to medical marijuana for patients too ill to wait for the full program to become operational, but the Administration removed it during bill negotiations, leaving critically ill patients vulnerable.

Currently, those with terminal or critical illnesses and their families are forced to break the law, move to a state where medical marijuana is legally available, or watch their loved ones suffer knowing that there is a medication that could help them.

“It’s unconscionable that patients in life and death situations are still waiting to access medical marijuana,” said Julie Netherland, deputy state director at the Drug Policy Alliance. “We’re not confident that the program will be fully operational in January, and critically ill patients cannot afford additional delays. Governor Cuomo should stick by his promise to do everything in his power to get medical marijuana to children suffering from life-threatening forms of epilepsy.”


Thank you for visiting MDMMCC.com, the premier Medical Marijuana Certification Center in Maryland. Our Mission at the Maryland Medical Marijuana Certification Clinics (MDMMCC) is to provide the certification necessary for qualified patients to obtain Medical Marijuana in compliance with the Maryland Medical Marijuana Laws in the State of Maryland.  MDMMCC will have offices open throughout Maryland.

Pennsylvania Religious Leaders Announce Support for Medical Marijuana Legislation

Pennsylvania Religious Leaders Announce Support for Medical Marijuana Legislation

A diverse group of 60+ clergy members in Pennsylvania have signed a statement urging state lawmakers to adopt a comprehensive medical marijuana law this year

HARRISBURG, PA — A group of Pennsylvania religious leaders announced their support for medical marijuana legislation Wednesday at a news conference in the state capitol.

A diverse group of more than 60 clergy members in Pennsylvania have signed the following statement urging state lawmakers to adopt a comprehensive medical marijuana law this year:

“Across Pennsylvania, there are patients suffering from cancer, multiple sclerosis, ALS, epilepsy, post-traumatic stress disorder, chronic pain, and other debilitating conditions for which medical cannabis has been found to provide significant medical benefits. Some find it to be the most effective way — or, in some cases, the only way — to effectively treat their maladies or the symptoms associated with them. Nobody should have to break the law in order to ease their suffering or that of a loved one.

“We cannot remain silent while people in pain and anguish are deprived of a viable, safe, and responsible remedy. While we may practice different faiths and come from different communities, we share the same commitment to improving the broader community through the practice of humanity, healing, mercy, and compassion. That is why, as leaders within our respective communities of faith, we are joining together to encourage the Pennsylvania General Assembly to adopt sensible, comprehensive medical cannabis legislation.”

A list of signers is available at http://www.ClergyForCompassion.com.

The Pennsylvania Senate approved a medical marijuana bill, SB 3, by a vote of 40-7 on May 12, and the issue is awaiting consideration in the House. Gov. Tom Wolf has said he would sign a medical marijuana bill into law.

A Quinnipiac University poll released earlier this month found nine out of 10 Pennsylvania voters support legal access to medical marijuana. Twenty-three states and the District of Columbia have adopted effective medical marijuana laws.

“I have always believed that God calls us to speak for the voiceless, the suffering, and the hurting,” said Pastor Shawn Berkebile of Abbottstown. “There are people suffering right now — in our homes, at our places of work, in line at the grocery store, and sitting in our houses of worship. Medical marijuana is providing hope for the hopeless and I want the lawmakers of Pennsylvania to realize this.”

“Jewish tradition teaches that we have both private and public obligations to heal illness and treat pain,” said Rabbi George Stern, executive director of the Jewish Social Policy Action Network. “The Jewish Social Policy Action Network calls upon the Pennsylvania General Assembly to adopt sensible, comprehensive medical cannabis legislation that will aid thousands of citizens across the state.”


Thank you for visiting MDMMCC.com, the premier Medical Marijuana Certification Center in Maryland. Our Mission at the Maryland Medical Marijuana Certification Clinics (MDMMCC) is to provide the certification necessary for qualified patients to obtain Medical Marijuana in compliance with the Maryland Medical Marijuana Laws in the State of Maryland.  MDMMCC will have offices open throughout Maryland.