Emergency Medical Marijuana Program The Result Of Putting Public Good Ahead Of Partisanship

The signing of legislation to create an emergency medical marijuana program represents the best of the democratic process—bipartisan cooperation to improve the lives of New Yorkers, especially those dealing with severe pain. This life-saving program is established as a result of a bill (A.7060) that I am proud to have co-sponsored with members of both sides of the aisle. I have fought hard for this legislation.
Easing the pain and suffering of those dealing with debilitating conditions has been a personal and professional priority, and this week we have taken a critical step toward helping our friends and neighbors in need.
As a legislative leader and a representative of the Finger Lakes Region, I have the privilege of meeting many wonderful residents of New York. It is very difficult to see those who are suffering ask for relief, only to be told they must wait a little longer. I was truly moved by the stories of those who are battling terrible illnesses. Through their stories, it became clear to me just how important this legislation is to them and their families. Now, I can gladly tell them help is on the way.
The wheels of government turn slowly. The state Department of Health is scheduled to have the final medical marijuana program up and running by January 2016. But that deadline is certainly no guarantee. Medicinal treatment and solutions have been right in front of suffering patients.  This legislation opens the door for them to finally get access to necessary care – without being forced to wait for the government wheels to turn.
When Assemblyman Richard Gottfried and I introduced this legislation we called upon the members of the Assembly, Senate, and the Governor to set aside their differences and help make this important program a reality. With thousands of suffering patients, including children, it was imperative we find a way to provide immediate relief while the state worked toward its final medical marijuana program. I would like to thank Assemblyman Gottfried, the Governor, the bill’s other sponsors and all those who supported this legislation. Together, we have done right by the New Yorkers who elected us and all those in need.
As we prepare for the start of the upcoming legislative season, we should remember the importance of progress. It does no good for the residents of New York when gridlock and bickering win out over cooperation and compromise. It is my sincere hope we use the successful creation of this program as an example of good democracy and build upon the momentum gained. Everyone wins when great ideas can be turned into great laws. 
What do you think?  I want to hear from you. Send me your feedback, suggestions and ideas regarding this or any other issue facing New York State. You can always contact my district office at (315) 781-2030, email me at kolbb@assembly.state.ny.us, find me by searching for Assemblyman Brian Kolb on Facebook, and follow me on Twitter.

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