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The New York Academy of Medicine hosted New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo on July 7 to sign into law a bill establishing a landmark medical marijuana program in New York State. More than 100 New York State lawmakers, health leaders, and patient advocates gathered at NYAM to witness the signing of this historic legislation.
NYAM President Jo Ivey Boufford, MD welcomed the special guests in attendance, including New York State Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, New York State Senator Jeffrey Klein, New York State Senator Diane Savino, New York State Assemblyman Richard Gottfried and local East Harlem Assemblyman Robert Rodriguez, as well as Acting New York State Health Commissioner Howard Zucker and Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer.
“We are here today to mark a new chapter for New Yorkers contending with some of the most serious illnesses, through the use of medical marijuana,” said Dr. Boufford. “Extensive scientific and medical research has demonstrated that medical marijuana can be helpful to many patients with rare and complex diseases. The agreement that Governor Cuomo and our state legislators reached earlier this month is an important step forward in that regard—it is one that will allow medical professionals to change the lives of their patients across the state.”
The new law includes provisions to ensure medical marijuana is reserved only for patients with serious conditions and is dispensed and administered in a manner that protects public health and safety.
“This new law takes an important step toward bringing relief to patients living with extraordinary pain and illness,” Governor Cuomo said. “The legislation I am signing today strikes the right balance between our desire to give those suffering from serious diseases access to treatment, and our obligation to guard against threats to public health and safety. I applaud the lawmakers and advocates whose efforts over the past years were crucial in making medical marijuana a reality in New York State.”
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