Families with sick children push for emergency access to medical marijuana

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

NEW YORK — Amanda Houser, 10, relies on one medicine to stop her seizures caused by a severe form of epilepsy.

Just like Missy Miller’s son Oliver, 14, who suffers from a complex range of medical issues, including about a hundred seizures a day, medicinal marijuana is the only drug that will work for them.

They are just some of the children who attended Governor Andrew Cuomo's press conference in July 2014 as he made New York the 23rd state in the country to legalize medicinal marijuana.

While dispensaries are not to be up and running until January 2016, some are worried there may be a snag in the plan.

Some stumbles are met by the very communities where several dispensaries are expected to open. It's approved now, but initially residents in Riverhead on Long island created a delay for one dispensary because they wanted nothing to do with the drug in their town.

"A medical marijuana dispensary is going to be the most boring thing in town.  It will have virtually no signage. A small number of seriously ill  patients and their caregiver will be going in and out only to pick up product for which the state has given them a permit to obtain.  They're not going to be able to sit around and smoke a joint or anything faintly resembling that," said New York State Assemblyman Richard Gottfried.

The hurdles are why New York Assemblyman Richard Gottfried, along with many of his colleges introduced and passed an Expedited Access Bill in June.

Now Governor Cuomo has until November 11th to either pass or veto it.

A bill already 17 years in the making, Gottfried says can’t see more delays.

The Expedited Access Bill, he says is merely a safety net that would allow the state health department, who in charge of licensing and regulating the drug, more power to allow dispensaries to open in a more timely fashion.