New York Could Become Medical Marijuana State in 2013

New York Could Become Medical Marijuana State in 2013

ALBANY, NY — As more and more states continue to reform marijuana laws, New York could join the other 18 states, as well as the District of Columbia, and legalize medical marijuana as early as next year.

When the state legislature reconvenes in January, State Senator Diane Savino (D-North Shore/Brooklyn) plans on introducing a bill that would legalize medical marijuana to the Senate.

The bill would allow seriously ill patients with doctor’s permission to purchase cannabis through a system of state-registered medical marijuana dispensaries. Patients would have to register with the state Health Department to receive access to the dispensaries. The bill would not allow home cultivation by patients or their caregivers.

Several of New York’s neighbors have already passed laws allowing medical marijuana, including  New Jersey, Connecticut, Rhode Island, and the newest medical marijuana state, Massachusetts, who’s voter approved law takes effect January 1.

“We need to follow this example and pass legislation to allow doctors to prescribe medical marijuana,” said Sen. Savino. “There’s tremendous support to legalize medical marijuana in New York. It’s inevitable.”

Savaino adds that medical marijuana could provide some additional revenue for a state still recovering from Hurricane Sandy in November.

“Licensing and taxing of marijuana growers, dispensaries and sales could generate upwards of $1 billion for New York’s cash-starved coffers,” Savino added.

Medical marijuana legalization could have strong support from colleagues, and a renewed medical marijuana lobbying campaign has already begun.  New York lobbyist firm Patricia Lynch Associates has been retained by Colorado-based Gaia Plant Based Medicine, to press lawmakers and the governor to legalize medical marijuana.

Governor Cuomo, while pushing for further reductions in penalties for possession of marijuana, remains skeptical of medical marijuana in New York, however.  Cuomo has said that he believes more research is needed to prove that legalizing medical marijuana will help people with problems such as cancer and multiple sclerosis, yet not increase drug abuse and criminal activity.

“I understand the benefits, but there are also risks — and I think the risks outweigh the benefits at this point,” Cuomo said earlier this year.

Cuomo wants to reduce penalties for possession of small amounts of marijuana from a misdemeanor to a violation.  New York decriminalized marijuana possession under 25 grams in the 1970’s, but the law has loopholes that have led to New York City’s reputation as the “Pot Bust Capital of the World“.

Under New York state law, the private possession of up to 25 grams of marijuana is a non-criminal civil citation, punishable by a $100 fine. By contrast, the possession of any amount of cannabis in public view is a criminal misdemeanor.

In June, Democrat Gov. Andrew Cuomo urged lawmakers to close the ‘public view’ loophole. That effort was ultimately quashed by Senate majority leader Republican Dean Skelos, who argued, “Being able to just walk around with ten joints in each ear, and it only be a violation, I think that’s wrong.”

In October, Gov. Cuomo reiterated his support for amending the state’s marijuana laws. Speaking at the New York State Trooper Class of 2012 graduation ceremony, Cuomo said that he “would not consider” convening a special legislative session unless lawmakers were willing to consider reforms to reduce New York City’s skyrocketing marijuana arrest rates.

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  • joey mazzarelli

    Lets hope newyork allows medical marihuana in newyork,I’v been Looking at the ups and downs of useing marijuana vs My script of percocets 10/325 that i take every 4 hours and from others who use medical marijuana from states that allow it and they look way better then me?I went from 136lbs to 117lbs since I was put on this pill,no orthopedic want to do surgery cause its to big and they say I have more Mobility now in pain then after still with pain.why cant I have a say in what I put in My self why is it ok to have a 28 year old on that many drugs and if its not working let him try his own way of treatment instead of pills of heroin eaten every four hours.newyork is going to not have as many sick taxs payers here in newyork when we soon learn marijuana works better and with no deaths from marijuana vs percocets and viks,I made phone calls asking newyork to allow it left My number I got no calls back newyork is going down Hill fast.
    Shoot me a e mail.

    thank you

    • Qthello

      The ups of using generic oxycodone vs marijuana? I do not find it hard to believe you have to check the ups and downs of using it over your percs, being you do not even know how to spell marijuana, and you probably did not know you were taking oxycotton. They call that redneck heroin. Because it is easily available. That being said. Have fun trying to kick that opiate. Marijuana is also a pain blocker, not a pain killer. For those who take it for pain. Its benefits are that it helps one tolerate pain more easily. Medical marijuana is mostly put into forms of edibles which are made from concentrates, Which even if pot were legal across the board you still could not get. Yet, they make it for edibles. That being said, the thc content in those edibles are generally over 50%. Most street level marijuana is 3%-7%. And as far as trying to make money off of it. Not that grand an Idea. The money is in cannabis. Not, cannabis sativa. Know what you’re talking about before you comment.

  • whitefeatherr

    I have to wonder what the NY government is thinking. To not make marijuana legal is just not thinking. I think it is sad that I live in a state that can’t see the forest through the trees. Using weed has many good things and it does save lives. If someone took the time to talk to Hospice they would find that marijuana has many things it does, like people with eating problems, cancer, pain and so much more. My DR’s told me smoke or die, that seems like maybe a good idea as I don’t want to die. The problem is MY Dr’s are in VT a state with vision nit would seem, but I live in NY. New York time to get off your butt, stop worrying how you can make money through taxing, and state run stores. The government has no right to control what people do, and surely not what a DR says a person needs. I think it has come to a time where we need to elect people with vision, not people that can only see money from the sick.

  • Qthello

    When you make something more expensive, you’re not helping anyone. They see it as a way to make money, not truly help “We the People”. That is truly sad

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