WNYT.com

Advocates renew call for Medical Marijuana in New York

Posted at: 01/25/2013 4:37 PM
Updated at: 01/25/2013 6:06 PM
By: Bill Lambdin

ALBANY - As Burton Aldrich sat in his wheelchair, describing the serious conditions that have caused him to appeal for the legal right to use marijuana he is already taking outside the law, his body stiffened.

"It's a (pain) spasm," Aldrich told us.

Burt, as well as HIV and Hepatitis C sufferer Richard Williams, hope this is the year elected representatives in Albany heed their call.

"Let me not be fear every time I have to go out and try to get some marijuana somewhere," Aldrich said. "(Fear) about who I'm getting it from, whether they're going to kill me or steal from me or whether I've going to get put in jail because of it."

Although medical marijuana proposals have easily passed the Assembly, they have not been permitted to go to a vote in the Republican controlled State Senate.

Tough for Burt to take. He says he is a Republican.

"And I look at my forefathers who came over on the Mayflower," Aldrich said. "It was to find some place where they could be free and this is what America stood for and so as a Republican, I ask my Republican senators to please back me on this."

This year Republicans are sharing control of the State Senate.

Whether that will bring different treatment to this issue remains to be seen. 

"It's really an issue of compassion," said registered nurse Lisa Roche-Schroeder. "This is a decision that should be made between patients, their nurses and their physicians and not by the government."