Please do the right thing and stop punishing individual sick people for the "drug problems" of strangers. Patients need safe, high-quality medicine without fear of arrest. Opposing medical marijuana is blocking access to this safe and less-addictive alternative to opiates. You say that the risks outweigh the benefits, but if patients are pushed towards opiates, their risks actually go up, due to addiction and dangers of overdose. Cannabis is safe and provides relief to those who are untreatable by conventional means.
A 2010 poll conducted by Quinnipiac University shows that 71% of all New York voters support legalizing medicinal marijuana use (including 55% of registered Republicans – a first-time majority). Opponents worry that it will fall into the "wrong hands", but since it is decriminalized in NY, many people already have access to it through illegal channels. Sick people shouldn't be penalized for the actions of other people, nor should they be pushed to the streets to get relief, risking imprisonment.
The legislature has passed more complicated and controversial measures in far less time than is still left in this session. You have demonstrated swiftness in pushing through issues you are personally concerned with. Suffering people cannot wait any longer. Another year will cost lives due to lack of access to this medicine; in cancer and AIDS wasting cases, this treatment can be life-saving. Sixteen other states, as well as Washington D.C., have already legalized medicinal cannabis with others likely to follow in the near future. Please work with advocates on a bill that you can support.