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Montel Williams: “Every day that we delay is another day of needless suffering for patients like me all across the state”

​Former talk show host and U.S. Navy officer and current New York City resident Montel Williams on Tuesday urged Governor David Paterson and members of the Legislature to act quickly in order to pass New York’s medical marijuana bill. 
Williams spoke at a press conference in Albany. He uses medical marijuana to help ease the effects of his multiple sclerosis.
According to supporters, the New York bill would create one of the best-regulated systems in the country for providing seriously ill patients with safe and effective access to medical marijuana.
“New York needs to act now to make marijuana legally available for medical use. Every day that we delay is another day of needless suffering for patients like me all across the state,” Williams said.

Photo: Matt Deturck/Rochester City Newspaper

​Chronically ill patients from across New York state gathered in Albany on Tuesday to make a final plea for Gov. David Paterson and the Legislature to include a compassionate medical marijuana program in the state’s budget.

An overwhelming 71 percent of New York voters think medical marijuana laws are a “good idea,” according to a February 4 Quinnipiac University poll.

On Monday, the Pharmacists Society of the State of New York became the latest state health group to endorse New York’s medical marijuana bill.
“Lawmakers need to stop playing games while patients’ lives hang in the balance and include medical marijuana in the budget,” said Richard Williams, a Richmondville, N.Y., resident who suffers from HIV and hepatitis C.
“I have found marijuana to be the best available treatment for the joint damage, nausea and appetite loss caused by my HIV medication, but I am forced to break state law and become a criminal if I seek such relief,” Williams said. “Along with countless other patients, I have waited for more than a decade while other states have passed medical marijuana laws protecting patients and New York has refused. The time is now.”