The Compassionate Care Act passed the Senate Health Committee Tuesday!

We still have a ways to go before medical marijuana will be legal in New York State, but this is a huge step forward for patients with serious and debilitating conditions.

Meanwhile, we're also building momentum in the Assembly. Tuesday May 20th, the bill passed through the Assembly Codes Committee, and a Republican Assemblyman Ray Walters signed on as a co-sponsor of the bill.

What’s next? Now the revised bipartisan bill makes it ways through the rest of the committees in both the Senate and Assembly before being sent to the Senate and Assembly floors for a full vote. In the Senate, up next is the Finance Committee. In the Assembly, up next is the Ways and Means Committee.

Jason Pinsky of Endocannabinoid.Systems and a promoter of the bill tells me, "We need to keep up the pressure on the leadership in Albany -- Senate Co-Leaders Dean Skelos and Jeff Klein; Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver; and Governor Cuomo. Call them and urge them to support the Compassionate Care Act. Patients can’t wait another year!"

He also says, "it’s important to contact each Senator on the Senate Finance Committee and urge them to support the Compassionate Care Act. It only takes a few seconds. Be polite and tell them a personal story that relates if you have one."

The legislative session ends on June 19th -- so now is the time to turn up the heat!

Here are the next steps:

Take action: it’s important to contact every Senator on the Senate Finance Committee and urge them to support the Compassionate Care Act. Below is a list of all the Committee members and their phone numbers / emails. There are a lot of Committee members, so we’ve ranked them by level of urgency – those at the top of the list are most in need of hearing from supporters!

Visit NORML's "Take Action Center"

Thank Senator Larkin:  Senator Larkin was the deciding vote and the lone Republican to vote for the bill in the Senate health Committee.  Please call him at (518) 455-2770 and thank him for his support.

Call Leadership: We need to keep up the pressure on the leadership in Albany – Senate Co-Leaders Dean Skelos and Jeff Klein; Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver; and Governor Cuomo. Call them and urge them to support the Compassionate Care Act. Patients can’t wait another year!

Senator Dean Skelos, Temporary President and Majority Coalition Leader:
518-455-3171

Senator Jeffrey Klein, Temporary President and Majority Coalition Leader:
518-455-3595

Governor Andrew Cuomo:
518-474-8390

NYS Senate Finance Committee - ranked by level of urgency:

John A. DeFrancisco (Chair)
Republican
jdefranc@nysenate.gov
518-455-3511

Hugh T. Farley
Republican
Farley@nysenate.gov
518-455-2181

John J. Flanagan
Republican
flanagan@nysenate.gov
518-455-2071

Martin J. Golden
Republican
golden@nysenate.gov
518-455-2730

Joseph A. Griffo
Republican
griffo@nysenate.gov
518-455-3334

Kemp Hannon
Republican
hannon@nysenate.gov
516-739-1700

Andrew J Lanza
Republican
lanza@senate.state.ny.us
518-455-3215

Kenneth P. LaValle
Republican
lavalle@nysenate.gov
518-455-3121

Betty Little
Republican
little@nysenate.gov
518-455-2811

Carl L Marcellino
Republican
marcelli@senate.state.ny.us
518-455-2390

Jack M. Martins
Republican
martins@nysenate.gov
518-455-3265

Michael F. Nozzolio
Republican
nozzolio@nysenate.gov
518-455-2366

Michael H. Ranzenhofer
Republican
ranz@senate.state.ny.us
518-455-3161

James L. Seward
Republican
seward@nysenate.gov
518-455-3131

Catharine Young
Republican
cyoung@senate.state.ny.us
518-455-3563

Ruben Diaz
Democrat
diaz@nysenate.gov
518-455-2511

John J. Bonacic
Republican
bonacic@nysenate.gov
518-455-3181

Mark Grisanti
Republican
grisanti@nysenate.gov
518-455-3240

William J. Larkin Jr.
Republican
larkin@senate.state.ny.us
518-455-2770

Thomas F. O'Mara
Republican
omara@nysenate.gov
518-455-2091

Timothy M. Kennedy
Democrat
kennedy@nysenate.gov
518-455-2426

Neil D. Breslin
Democrat
breslin@senate.state.ny.us
518-455-2225

Martin Malavé Dilan
Democrat
dilan@nysenate.gov
518-455-2177

Adriano Espaillat
Democrat
espailla@nysenate.gov
518-455-2041

Michael Gianaris
Democrat
gianaris@nysenate.gov
518-455-3486

Ruth Hassell-Thompson
Democrat
hassellt@senate.state.ny.us
518-455-2061

Liz Krueger
Democrat
lkrueger@senate.state.ny.us
518-455-2297