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New York Sen. Kristen Gillibrand Is Making Her Push For Medical Marijuana at the Federal Level

As parents of disabled and deceased children told heart-wrenching stories Monday morning, Sen. Kirsten E. Gillibrand had to stop and compose herself.

The emotional pain the families of brain-impaired children recounted would not be necessary, she told a news conference at the Dent Neurological Institute in Amherst, if medical marijuana were available like other regular prescription drugs. But because the federal government still looks upon the substance as a harmful and illegal drug akin to heroin and LSD – even where it’s legal – she said more children with neurological disorders will continue struggling with damaging daily seizures.

“These laws are ignorant of the health benefits of medical marijuana,” she said. “It’s really a case of ideology getting in the way of medical science.”

The Democratic senator is now working with several other senators to first work with the Department of Justice to change its view of marijuana as a harmful drug, in light of states like New York legalizing various forms to treat diseases like epilepsy and other neurological disorders. Absent any bureaucratic reforms she has yet to see develop, Gillibrand said Monday she will push for a new bill already enjoying bipartisan support that would amend federal law to allow states to set their own medical marijuana policies. [Read more at the Buffalo News]

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