A poll released by the Siena Research Institute found that 82% of New York voters support allowing seriously and terminally ill people to legally use marijuana for medical purposes if recommended by a doctor. The poll of 623 registered voters also found that Democrats and Republicans are equally likely to support medical marijuana – for both groups, support registered at 81%. Meanwhile, members of the Independence and other parties showed even greater support (89%), and even 77% percent of self-described conservatives were in favor.
A proposal currently pending before the New York State legislature, the Compassionate Care Act – A.6357 (Gottfried) / S.4406 (Savino) – would allow healthcare practitioners to talk to their patients about medical marijuana and certify those with serious, debilitating illnesses so that they may have access to a small amount of medical marijuana to relieve their symptoms. The bill, which would create one of the nation’s most tightly regulated medical marijuana programs, also has the support of hundreds patients and healthcare providers and dozens of organizations across the state.
“An astonishing 82% of New Yorkers support medical marijuana, including 81% of both Democrats and Republicans,” said gabriel sayegh, DPA’s New York State Director. “New Yorkers clearly, overwhelmingly support compassionate care for the sick and dying. So what’s the hold up in Albany? This proposal has been delayed for fifteen years. It’s time for our elected representatives in Albany to show some moral clarity and compassion, and move this measure forward so that those New Yorkers suffering with cancer or other debilitating conditions can get the relief they need and deserve. ”
Eighteen states and the District of Columbia have passed laws protecting patients who use medical marijuana with a physician’s recommendation – including other northeastern states such as New Jersey, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Vermont and Rhode Island. Illinois could soon become the 19th medical marijuana state if Governor Quinn signs a bill passed by the Illinois Senate last week