Advocates: Grant emergency access to medical marijuana

Supporters of medical marijuana gathered outside Gov. Andrew Cuomo's Manhattan office Tuesday to urge him to provide emergency access to the drug.

New York's Compassionate Care Act was passed last July, but the medical marijuana program is not scheduled to begin until January 2016.

Advocates are pushing the governor to make the drug available to patients who have certain serious health conditions, including cancer.

Missy Miller, of Atlantic Beach, says her son Oliver has had as many as 40,000 seizures since the original bill was passed. She says medical marijuana could dramatically help her son with his condition.

Medical experts at the rally say they've been seeing dramatic changes in patients using medical marijuana in other states.

"One girl went from 50-100 seizures in a day and being very depressed and mopey to having one about every eight days and she's bright-eyed and bushy-tailed," says Dr. Richard Carlton.

In a statement to News 12, the governor's office says, "Our top priority has always been to deliver relief to those in pain. We will review the legislation in the context of implementing the Compassionate Care Act and complying with existing federal statutes."

As News 12 has reported, drug experts say the governor is issuing a slow rollout of medical marijuana because it is the first time the state has approved and regulated a drug.

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