Heartwrenching TV Ads Urge New York's Government to Support the New Medical Marijuana Bill

A new TV ad currently running in New York state features Port Washington psychiatrist Richard Carlton making a compassionate plea on behalf of his 46-year-old  wife who has late-stage Parkinson’s disease.


“If Joan tried marijuana now, she might have a tremendous improvement in her quality of life. Knowing there’s a medication that could help my wife, but that medication is illegal here in New York is agonizing,” he says. “It’s causing me a tremendous amount of grief.”

He then asks the state’s Governor, Andrew Cuomo, to support the proposed Compassionate Care Act. The new bill would give seriously ill people access to medical marijuana with a doctor’s recommendation. The ad is sponsored by the Marijuana Policy Project, which played a large role in getting cannabis legalized for recreational purposes in Colorado and Washington.

In the 20 states (plus Washington D.C.) that have already legalized medical marijuana, countless patient experiences back up the psychiatrist’s claim. People dealing with everything from Parkinson’s to cancer, PTSD to epilepsy, have found relief and healing in cannabis.

A second New York TV ad depicts Atlantic Beach mother Missy Miller with her son, Oliver. Oliver had a brain stem injury that caused him a series of “complex medical conditions” including refractory seizures.

“Medical marijuana is helping so many children just like Oliver,” she said. She was likely referring to the hundreds of families with epileptic children who have found that cannabis strains high in the compound CBD (cannabidiol) significantly reduce—or stop altogether— their children’s seizures.

She continues, “Why can we not get access to that medicine to give my son the same home and the same chance for life?”

This ad was directed at Senator Dean Skelos, asking him to allow a vote on the widely supported new law.

Both ads direct viewers to a Change.org petition calling on Cuomo, Skelos and New York Senate Majority Co-Leader Jeffrey Klein to take action to pass the law this year.

The New York State Assembly approved the new Compassionate Care Act on May 27 (91-34) for the fifth time since 2007. However, the Cuomo has yet to signify support for the measure and previously the state’s Senate leaders have not even allowed the bill to receive a vote on the Senate floor.

More than 80% of New York voters support the medical marijuana bill according to a Quinnipiac University poll conducted May 14-19, and the majority of American medical doctors think it should be legal. 

While the US government’s restrictions have placed an effective blockade on cannabis research, private studies and research in other parts of the world reveal stacks of evidence to support the healing benefits of the herb. Despite the proof, cannabis remains a schedule I drug under federal law—a classification that deems it dangerous with a high potential addiction on par with heroin and meth.

“There is a wealth of evidence demonstrating the benefits of medical marijuana for people suffering from a variety of debilitating conditions,” said Rachelle Yeung, a legislative analyst for the Marijuana Policy Project. “It’s time for the Senate to vote on this bill. There is no rational reason for delaying this bill another year.

Watch both ads below:

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