Assemblyman Walter urges passage of Compassionate Care Act.

Assemblyman Ray Walter (R,C,I-Amherst) recently signed on as a co-sponsor of the Compassionate Care Act which would authorize the use of medical marijuana. While the merits of its use for medical purposes are well established, many attempts at legalization have been thinly-veiled attempts to provide backdoor recreational access to marijuana. The Compassionate Care Act ensures New York will not head in that direction. This legislation lays out specific qualifications, both in terms of eligible diseases and doctor’s recommendation. It also would track the marijuana plant from inception to consumption, ensuring it does not end up being sold and used illicitly.

“It’s a common-sense approach to a complicated issue. An approach that address the need to help sick New Yorkers, while ensuring it is not used by people who seek to abuse it,” said Walter. “This balanced approach, managing compassion and control, to medical marijuana makes support for the Compassionate Care Act the right thing to do. With only a little more than a month to go before the end of session, we must pass this important legislation. Today’s passage in the Senate Health Committee is a step in the right direction. I hope by becoming a co-sponsor I can play a role in this becoming a reality.”

“There are a lot of people in my situation where it could be a life or death issue. We need to move quickly on this bill,” said Amherst resident Pam Schunk, who was diagnosed with ovarian and breast cancer. “I want to thank Assemblyman Walter for supporting the Compassionate Care Act. Folks like me will finally be able to receive real treatment for debilitating and painful diseases.”

“The two most important elements when considering the legalization of medical marijuana are compassion and control,” said local advocate Wendy Conte, whose daughter suffers from Dravet Syndrome. “When I see my daughter suffering, when anyone sees a loved one suffering, child or an adult, we want to alleviate their pain and provide them with real relief. Friends and family members suffering from a debilitating disease shouldn’t have to go to Colorado, Illinois or any of the 21 states that provide this treatment option, to seek medical marijuana. They should be able to go to their hometown doctor, receive a prescription and ease their pain and suffering.”

To see Assemblyman Ray Walter and Pam Schunk speak on the benefits of medical marijuana, check out this video created by local high school student Jacob Lenard. Click here.


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