BUFFALO, N.Y. -- A day after 2 On Your Side's special report on a local family that may move out of state to get medical marijuana for their sick child, more state lawmakers have announced their support for legalization.
Tuesday, State Senators Tim Kennedy (D-63rd District) and George Maziarz (R-62nd District) said they support the so-called Compassionate Care Act, which would legalize medical marijuana under strict regulations.
"The support is growing," said Senator Maziarz, Senate Vice President Pro Tempore.
Maziarz said he will encourage his leader, Senator Dean Skelos, to bring the bill to a vote.
"It deserves an up-or-down vote," Maziarz said.
Kennedy, whose Democratic party is overwhelmingly supportive of the bill, said it has the votes to pass.
"Children's lives can be saved.," Kennedy said. "We need to step up to the plate. New York State needs to do the right thing. We need to pass this bill immediately."
Senator Mark Grisanti (R-60th District) is also supportive of the bill.
Senator Patrick Gallivan (R-59th District) does not support the medical marijuana legalization bill, but he said he is open to "providing some form of access to cannabinoid-derivative oil," which is the type of medication showing promise for children with seizures.
The Assembly has passed medical marijuana bills multiple times. Assemblyman Sean Ryan (D-149th District) said New Yorkers should take comfort in knowing the Compassionate Care Act has provisions in place to prevent abuse.
"It's very tightly regulated," Ryan said. "It goes from seed to dispensary. It's all going to be done in New York State."
Ryan was also critical of the Senate leadership for failing to bring the bill to the floor for a vote.
Sources tell 2 On Your Side that Senator Skelos is single-handedly preventing the vote. Calls and emails to his office were not returned.