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Groups for medical marijuana looking for swift implementation
Compassionate Care NY, is one of the groups that has pushed for medical marijuana in New York. It said Wednesday it was holding a conference call with families across the state about the bill that was recently passed by lawmakers to make medical marijuana legal for some patients. The group said it is focused on a swift implementation of the program because it feels some patients need access to the drug now.
Melissa Hilt is a Schodack mother. She spoke with CBS6 News in her kitchen, where medicine was lined up on the counter. She said thats the medicine her 7-year-old daughter Haley takes every day.
Hilt said that Haley has a rare disorder that gives her multiple seizures a day.
Every moment you just pray and cry right along with them, said Hilt. You just cant make it better for them. That's the hardest part.
Hilt was thrilled when medical marijuana was passed by lawmakers in the state. It still needs to be signed by the Governor. She hopes the program could help her daughter.
When asked what she would say to other parents who wonder why she would have her daughter try medical marijuana, Hilt said, Its got to be better than what is out there. We give my daughter valium routinely; weve given her medication thats made her sleep four days straight without waking up.
She said that nothing they have tried has worked. She said she has done the research and believes medical marijuana could, by stopping some of the seizures, or protecting Haley's brain from them. But Hilt said she can't wait 18 months, or more, to find out.
When you wake up every morning and go into your childs room and say oh God please let her be with us still, hopefully she didn't have a seizure in the middle of the night that killed her, 18 months can be a really long time, she said.
The State has said it wants to make sure the medical marijuana program is ready before it is rolled out. It has many things to do, like train doctors, figure out what companies will grow and distribute the drug and make sure strong regulations are in place. The State has said the program would be up and running 18 months from when its enacted, or whenever the Health Commissioner feels it is ready, whichever is longer.
I absolutely want it to be safe. As a registered nurse I think we have to protect children who dont need this from it being diverted to them, said Hilt. However, my daughter does need it and there are special extenuating circumstances.
Hilt said she hopes the Governor or Health Commissioner could take special action to allow people with certain health situations to legally get ahold of the drug more quickly, even if that meant going to another state to get it.
CBS 6 called the State Health Department and Governor's Office to ask about that. We have not heard back yet.