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New York State Lawmakers Push For Medical Marijuana Law

Stage 4 Cancer Patient Urges Lawmakers To 'Pass This Law Before I Die'
Stage 4 cancer patient Beverly McClain speaks in favor of legalizing medical use of marijuana in New York, April 25, 2013. (credit: Rich Lamb/WCBS 880)

Stage 4 cancer patient Beverly McClain speaks in favor of legalizing medical use of marijuana in New York, April 25, 2013. (credit: Rich Lamb/WCBS 880)

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NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – Lawmakers and terminally ill patients gathered on the steps of City Hall on Thursday to call for the passage of a medical marijuana law in New York State.

Beverly McClain has stage 4 breast cancer.

“I now have metastasis in my bones, in my lymph nodes and in my brain,” McClain told reporters including WCBS 880′s Rich Lamb.

She has used marijuana to ease her pain and nausea.

“Medical marijuana for me is synonymous with just being able to take a break from all the hell that people like me have to go through,” said McClain.

She said a lot of patients are afraid to use marijuana medicinally until it is legal.

“I would really appreciate it if we could pass this law before I die,” she added.

New York State Assembly Health Committee Chair Richard Gottfried, New York City Councilman Daniel Dromm and State Sen. Diane Savino were on hand to urge their colleagues to pass a medical marijuana statute.

“People want relief, they don’t want to get high. If they wanted to get high, they could get a prescription from their doctor, they could take two Vicodin, wash it down with a glass of wine. They don’t want to get high…they want relief,” Savino told Lamb. “If people are interested in getting high, they would not want to enroll in this program. They can go out in the street and buy it, it’s not that hard to get in New York State. But patients shouldn’t have to break the law to get relief.”

Savino said 18 states – including New Jersey and Connecticut – have enacted medical marijuana laws to provide relief from diseases or the treatment of diseases such as cancer, multiple sclerosis and epilepsy.

“In New York State, the only choices they have right now are either pain or highly deadly, addictive drugs. We want to give them another choice,” Savino said.

The lawmaker said if enacted, New York would have the most highly regulated, tightly controlled medical marijuana law in the nation.

The bill would allow the use of medical marijuana under a doctor’s supervision for patients with cancer and other severe debilitating or life-threatening conditions.

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