Parents of young ones struggling with epilepsy and other serious ailments urged Gov. Andrew Cuomo today to work with the Legislature to legalize medical marijuana through a new law—not through his proposal for an executive order.
At a news conference in the Capitol, parents and patients with diseases warned that Cuomo’s plan to have a limited distribution of medical marijuana would not help children and other people who could benefit from the drug.
Kate Hintz, a parent from North Salem, Westchester County, said she needs a liquid strain of marijuana to help her three-year-old daughter, Morgan, who suffers from the severe seizure disorder called Dravet syndrome.
She held back tears as she criticized the state Senate for failing to legalize medical marijuana. The measure has repeatedly passed the Democratic-led Assembly, but hasn’t passed the Senate, which is controlled by a coalition of Republicans and four Democrats.
“I want you to know that every time my child has a seizure, I am thinking of you,” Hintz said, referring to senators, with her daughter by her side. “I’m wondering if you have any idea of the pain and the suffering my child has faced in her short lifetime.”
Wendy Conte, of Orchard Park, Erie County, said she plans to move to Colorado later this month to get the liquid strain of marijuana for her eight-year-old daughter, Anna, who also suffers from Dravet.
“It is a positive step but it is very, very short of what we are asking for,” Conte said of Cuomo’s announcement last week to support limited access to medical marijuana.
Sen. Diane Savino, D-Staten Island, said she’s confident that there will be enough support in the Senate to pass the bill this year.
“When the bill’s ready, it will come to the floor,” she said.
Here’s videos from Hintz and Conte: