The State of Medical Marijuana legislation in New York. - New York Business Law — New York Business Law

The State of Medical Marijuana legislation in New York.

by Fred Abramson on January 8, 2013 · 5 comments

In recent years, the “public use” exception to New York’s 1977 decriminalization law has been used by police officers. New York City police have told tens of thousands of people, mostly young people of color, to empty their pockets — thus making them criminals under the loophole. On June 4, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced his support for ending these unlawful marijuana arrests by doing away with the loophole. Mayor Michael Bloomberg, New York City Police Commissioner Ray Kelly, and several district attorneys lent their voice to this needed change as well.

Meanwhile, a sitting judge described how medical marijuana alleviates the effects of his cancer treatments, and on June 13, 2012 the Assembly passed medical marijuana legislation for the third time.

While the pressure is continuing to build for reform, we’re not there yet: Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos (R-Nassau County) opposed the decriminalizatin fix, expressing a concern that people could walk around with “10 joints in each ear.” The Senate once again didn’t vote on medical marijuana, and though Gov. Cuomo’s position on medical marijuana softened, he didn’t support passage in 2012.

In New York, two stumbling blocks exist for the passage of medical marijuana laws: the Republican-controlled New York State Senate and Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

According to the Syracuse Post Herald,  political dynamics are changing in Albany, where the Senate Republicans have allied with five Democrats – including a key supporter of medical marijuana.

“We’re counting heads in the Senate,” said Sen. Diane Savino, D-Staten Island, a member of the Independent Democratic Conference now allied with the Republicans. She plans to reintroduce her bill early next year. “I believe there is sufficient support in both parties in all three conferences in the Senate.”

Few political leaders in New York are talking about legalizing pot for recreational use. But when it comes to medical treatment, lawmakers are listening to patients and making decisions based as much on individual experiences as political ideologies.

What do you think? Should Medical Marijuana be legal in New York? How about recreational use of Marijuana?


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  • Shortputter

    I believe both options are soon coming.  I strongly believe that Medical Marijuana should be approved and if so, those that qualify should be able to grow their own.

  • MedicalCannabisforNYState

    I believe medical cannabis should be approved. I don’t exactly like the fact that the bill states patients could not grow there own although. and when it comes to recreational use im opposed because of one reason. with great things come great responsibilities, some people out there lack common sense and don’t appreciate that very true fact. with cannabis being very great indeed everyone needs to know if they so choose to use, they have to be smart about it.

  • Dr Joe

    We should legalize it and see what life is like with the healing benefits ! We certainly know what’s its like when it’s criminalized… Now lets see – I think it’s gonna help us on earth ! Dr Z

  • Someone who knows

    medical marijuana should be allowed. I have personally witnessed several family members go through cancer and marijuana would have helped them, but because of the fear of losing everything if caught, had to suffer needlessly. Doctors even made the comment that they could be helped by marijuana but because of laws could not prescribe. If doctors see the benefits ,what is the hold up/ The main concern is addiction of the drug. That is a cop out reason. I have a sever condition and I have to take narcotics and guess what those are legal and very-very addictive. I know people in California who take and grow medical marijuana and they can quite with no withdrawal ( they had done it ) but I can’t, my body goes through withdrawal badly. This I know first hand. The true reason behind not legalizing marijuana is drug companies will lose a lot of money, because medical marijuana will replace many drugs, and guess what , medical marijuana has less side affects . Marijuana doesn’t cause liver and kidney damage as do almost all of the pain killers we have now. I wonder if the drug companies are influencing the senate and governor . The addiction argument has no strength as an argument. Alcohol, cigarettes , prescription pain killers and the list could go on, all of them are legal and all addictive. And for all the earthy people, marijuana is natural substance and all elements of the marijuana plant can be used. The stalks can be used for rope , clothing and also it can be and is used in lotions , hair products and the list goes on.

  • Lee Salisbury

    Yes medical marijuana is a no-brainer for N.Y.. For the last few decades , the bonifide medical papers have described many conditions marijuana helps and no side effects compared to big pharma. Aftereffects. You can get methadone, xanax, hydrocodone, all killers, all prescribable. You can mail them, carry them on airplanes, take them when required. All legal. Marijuana kills NOBODY! Wrap your head around that. Asprin kills up to 500 people a year. It’s sick and counterproductive to our health, our environment,as hemp takes 12 times as much co2 per acre out of the air ad trees.

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