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New support for medical marijuana
Rochester, N.Y. State Sen. Ted OBrien (D-Irondequoit) has voiced his support for the Compassionate Care Act, becoming the fourth local senator to back it.
"Its tailored so that the use of medical marijuana would be under the use of medical professionals and I think that would tighten and kind of alleviate my concerns about encouraging smoking which is not a healthy thing to do," said Sen. O'Brien.
The Breast Cancer Coalition of Rochester (BCCR) called OBriens support a major victory for medical marijuana in New York state.
"If this bill makes it to the senate floor for a vote, there are enough votes to have it pass, said Holly Anderson, BCCR executive director. We have enough support across the state that this will pass."
Advocates for medical marijuana, like Rachel Burke, a breast cancer survivor, said its a good and necessary option to have.
With chemo, you're putting such a toxic poison in your body, and then you're putting more toxins in your body, said Burke.
Burke added the medication was also very harsh, which is one of the reasons she chose to support the Compassionate Care Act.
To be able to use something that's botanical and natural substance, had it been an option, I might've considered it, she said.
The BCCR said it is also a great help to have OBriens support because he is a member of the state Senate's health committee, which will need to support the bill before the full Senate votes.
Burke said she hopes other lawmakers will take OBriens lead.
"It can be used more as a benefit than anything else and to come around to 2014 where it doesn't have the stigma attached to it," she said. "Its about time.