Cuomo Medical Marijuana Action Sets Stage for Strong Legislation
Governor Cuomo's endorsement of the medical value of cannabis for many patients with serious debilitating and life-threatening conditions gives new strength to the issue. His decision to activate the 1980 Olivieri law is an important interim step under the law available to him. But that law is very limited and cumbersome. I urge Governor Cuomo to join the effort to enact new comprehensive tightly-regulated legislation this session in Albany.
Science is well beyond where we were in 1980. In other states, tightly-regulated cannabis producers are able to produce strains with different strengths and compositions to reflect patient conditions and needs. Many patients could benefit from medical marijuana who cannot be helped under the 1980 law, such as children with severe epilepsy.
For New York to have a comprehensive and well-working system, we need to pass legislation this year. Assembly bill A.6357 (Gottfried)/S.4406 (Savino) would set up a tightly regulated and controlled medical marijuana system. Practitioners licensed to prescribe controlled substances could certify patient need, and certified patients would register with the Health Department. Both the certification process and dispensing of medical marijuana would be included in the I-STOP prescription monitoring system for controlled substances enacted in 2012. The Health Department would license and regulate entities to produce and dispense medical marijuana for certified patients. They would be required to comply with detailed "seed to sale" security controls and regulations. A clinical advisory committee made up predominately of health care professionals would advise the Health Commissioner on clinical matters.
Recognizing NYPD Heroes
This month I sent my thanks to the detective who was honored by the Tenth Precinct for outstanding service. Detective Rocco Russo's work makes our community a safer place to live, work, and visit.
Over the past several months, more than thirty-one grand larcenies were allegedly committed against passengers by an unknown livery driver. Victims were told to pay their fares with a credit card and, each time, the alleged perpetrator kept their card, and returned a prior victim's card. Many of these passengers did not realize their credit cards had been stolen until they were either contacted by the bank or noticed unauthorized charges on their statements. Thanks to Det. Russo's efforts, the alleged perpetrator was apprehended.
There's a lesson for all of us: when someone hands you back your credit card, take a quick look to make sure it's your card!
As the Assembly Member representing the district where the Tenth Precinct is located, I especially appreciate the hard work, compassion, and courage its officers put into keeping our City safe. I applaud the commander of the Tenth Precinct, Capt. David Miller, for having the "Cop of the Month" program.
Supporting a Transportation Enhancement Program (TEP) Grant
In December, I wrote to the New York State Department of Transportation (DOT) to voice my support for Transportation Enhancement Program (TEP) proposal to revitalize the stretch of Broadway between West 72nd Street and Union Square (almost all of which is in my Assembly district).
This plan would fund the formal expansion of the sidewalks and allow temporary structures to be replaced with permanent construction. New landscaping and amenities such as distinctive pavement and modern outdoor furniture will also be added. These improvements will soften the hardscape and reduce the heat island effect.
This proposal will help transform Broadway into a safe and accessible "Complete Street" and greatly benefit the midtown Manhattan area.
In Hell's Kitchen, there's not much refuge from the concrete, steel and traffic. On December 12th, I joined the grand opening of Teresa's Park on 39th Street, just east of Tenth Avenue. It was the brainchild of neighborhood residents who saw the need to revive this neglected park, formerly known as Bird Park, to create a refuge from city life. This small but lovely park has become a reality with help from small businesses, local elected officials, the Port Authority, and some hard labor from committed community members (Bianca McPherson of my staff and I spent some time helping lug rocks for the path).
Teresa's Park is named in honor of the late Teresa Mattia, long-time 39th St. resident and community activist.
Water Quality Information Act
Bronx Assembly Member Luis Sepulveda recently introduced legislation (The Water Quality Information Act) that would provide the public with access to reports about New York's public drinking water system. The bill would require the State Health Commissioner to coordinate with the Environmental Protection Agency to develop an information program that is updated regularly and made available through the EPA website.
It is important for us to take this opportunity to provide New Yorkers with vital information about chemical testing, contaminants, public notices and various other data. I am pleased to co-sponsor this legislation.
2014 Parking Calendars are Available
Plan ahead so you don't get a ticket. Learn what days parking meters and alternate side parking are suspended. Please call or email my office if you would like a hard copy mailed to you or a PDF sent by email.
New York, NY 10001
Albany, NY 12248