Andrea J. Wanat, Executive Director of The Erie County Council for the Prevention of Alcohol and Substance Abuse, the NCADD Affiliate in Buffalo, NY, is an active board member of the Western New York Chemical Dependency Consortium and served on the planning committee for an 8-county event held early in the year.
Pictured on left is Bob Pezzolesi, President and CEO of the New York Alcohol Policy Alliance.
The event, an Annual Legislative Breakfast, drew over 100 participants.
This year's Breakfast highlighted the legal aspects of substance abuse, the high cost of addiction, and an overview of medical marijuana.
Among the participants were Erie County Sheriff Timothy Howard, who spoke about substance abuse and the legal system and Bob Pezzolesi, President and CEO of the New York Alcohol Policy Alliance. Assemblywoman Jane Corwin attended the event as well, and spoke about the impending medical marijuana bill which is under review in New York State. She expressed her opposition to the bill and urged others who are not in favor to contact their local politicians. Several other state and federal legislators also were represented at the Breakfast.
Among the speakers was Brad Finn, Executive Director of Prevention Network OCCA, the NCADD Syracuse Affiliate. He presented substantial findings and a plethora of information on the current marijuana laws in California and Colorado, and some current trends to be aware of.
Immediately following the Legislative Breakfast, the Consortium held an afternoon training session which focused on the medical marijuana issue currently at the forefront of the prevention and treatment field's radar. The medical marijuana bill seems destined to pass unless drastic measures are taken by New York State citizens and their elected officials. The afternoon session was open to all professionals and provided more information and insight into medical marijuana and the pending bill.
Sally Yageric, CPP, of the Erie County Council for the Prevention of Alcohol and Substance Abuse, presented during the afternoon session along with Brad Finn and Dr. Robert Whitney, Former Medical Director of Addiction Treatment Services at the Erie County Medical Center and current Public Policy Chair for ECCPASA. Ms. Yageric shared her knowledge regarding the essential educational messages that community members can carry forth while Brad Finn spoke about some very important issues other states have learned through their experience with medical marijuana. Dr. Whitney incorporated his medical knowledge and experience, informing trainees of the medical options available and of the FDA process of approving drugs as medicine.
Andrea J. Wanat, Executive Director
Erie County Council for the Prevention of Alcohol and Substance Abuse
1625 Hertel Avenue
Buffalo, New York 14216