The debate on whether New York State should authorize the use of medical marihuana has been extensive and often emotional. After hearing from constituents, medical experts and reviewing the latest research, I now believe that limited use of marihuana for seriously ill patients under a doctor’s care is justified and warranted.
As a former State Trooper and Sheriff of Erie County, I have concerns about the production and distribution of the product and the potential for abuse. However, I believe the proposed legislation provides adequate safeguards and feel the potential benefits outweigh the negatives. I am further comforted in knowing that the program can be suspended in the event it does not perform as intended.
Throughout this process I felt it important that my ultimate vote be based on the latest medical and scientific research and that any approved program be strictly regulated and administered. I believe we have reached this threshold. This legislation provides a treatment option for doctors who believe their patients will benefit from the limited use of marihuana and it contains restrictions on how the drug will be manufactured and dispensed.
Finally, I have always felt that those in public service are there to help others. As your representative in the New York State Senate, it is my hope that this legislation provides that help to those in need.