Patients suffering from deadly diseases in New York do not actually need to wait until January 2016, when the medical marijuana program will launch, to get their hands on useful medicine; Governor Andrew Cuomo signed some pieces of legislation that would allow patients undergoing life-threatening illnesses to have access to medical marijuana before January on Tuesday. The “Emergency Access” legislation was passed months after the medical marijuana community pressured the governor and the state to give dying patients medicine immediately.

A couple of months ago, the New York State legislature approved the bills extremely quickly; the ink barely had time to dry before they were being prepared to reach the governor’s office for an overview/ When the legislation finally landed on Cuomo’s desk late in October, he had ten days to either sign or reject the measures with a ton of pressure following. His decision came in the 11th hour.

“I deeply sympathize with New Yorkers suffering from serious illness and I appreciate that medical marijuana may alleviate their chronic pain and debilitating symptoms,” Cuomo stated. “I am also mindful, however, of the overarching authority, jurisdiction, and oversight of the federal government.”

The governor seemed to have been very pressured into putting the emergency legislation to work. Cuomo was neither a true supporter of the bill nor the medical marijuana program approve by the state legislature in 2014. Not only has he been deemed the primary suspect behind the outcome of the Compassionate Care Act, which gave access to patients only with treacherous conditions, Cuomo did not ever make it clear that he was going to sign the emergency access proposal. Instead, he only said that he was going to give it some thought.

“Our top priority has always been to deliver relief to those in pain,” spokesman for the Cuomo Administration, Rich Azzopardi, said in the summer. “We will review the legislation in the context of implementing the Compassionate Care Act and complying with existing federal statutes.”

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