"Marijuana prohibition applies to everyone, including the sick and dying. Of all the negative consequences of prohibition, none is as tragic as the denial of medicinal cannabis to the tens of thousands of seriously ill patients who could benefit from its therapeutic use. Until Congress is persuaded to amend federal law legalizing prescriptive access to marijuana, states have an obligation to protect patients seeking relief with medical cannabis from arrest and prosecution under state law. Basic compassion and common sense demand that we allow America's seriously ill citizens to use whatever medication is safe and effective to alleviate their pain and suffering." - Keith Stroup, Esq., Founder, NORML
Recent Action Alerts:
Update: Companion legislation, S. 5629 has passed the Senate Health Committee and now heads to the full Senate for consideration.
Legislation is moving forward, A. 7006, to allow patients with post-traumatic stress eligible for medical cannabis therapy.
New York is one of the only states with a medical marijuana program that does not allow patients with PTSD access to medical cannabis.
Please use the pre-written letter below to urge your lawmakers to support this effort.
Update: On May 11 both bills were referred to the Health Committee
A pair of bills are pending in the Senate to expand patients’ access to medical cannabis.
Senate Bill 6092 expands the pool of patients eligible for medical cannabis access to include those with Alzheimer’s disease, lupus, rheumatoid arthritis and a number of other debilitating diseases. It also removes arbitrary caps imposed on the amount of THC permitted in oral products.
Senate Bill 6308 allows for additional cannabis providers to operate in the state in order to improve patients’ access.
Senator Liz Krueger (D) has introduced the Marijuana Regulation and Taxation Act, which is making its way through the New York General Legislature.
The act legalizes possession and cultivation, and would establish a market for legal marijuana for adults 21 and older.
The ongoing enforcement of cannabis prohibition financially burdens taxpayers, encroaches upon civil liberties, engenders disrespect for the law, impedes legitimate scientific research into the plant's medicinal properties, and disproportionately impacts communities of color.
The Buffalo Common Council has received and filed our legislation that WNY NORML has sponsored called the BCA or Buffalo Cannabis Act. This would make Buffalo police issue citations rather than make arrests for Cannabis Position. We have also requested that Buffalo be more included in the states Medical Cannabis Program.
Update: NORML is joining multiple organizations, including Empire State NORML and the Drug Policy Alliance in calling for Governor Andrew Cuomo to include the language from A. 2142 and S. 3809 in his budget.
Update: A. 2142 has passed the state Assembly by a vote of 95 to 38. The Senate has yet to take action on its companion bill, S. 3809.
New York has historically had the highest marijuana-related arrest rate in the nation largely because of questionable arrests made under the 'public view' exception. These arrests primarily target African Americans and Hispanics, and have been roundly criticized by leading politicians and civil rights advocates. (Legislation to close this loophole is pending, and you may contact your lawmakers and urge them to make this change here)
Passage of A. 2142 and S. 3809 will make it so these hundreds of thousands of minor offenders are no longer stigmatized by their arrest record.
With public support for reforming marijuana laws at an all time high, Reps. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR), Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA), Jared Polis (D-CO), and Don Young (R-AK) have formed the first-ever Congressional Cannabis Caucus to develop and promote sensible cannabis policy reform and work to ease the tension between federal and state cannabis laws.
Never in modern history has there existed greater public support for ending the nation's nearly century-long experiment with marijuana prohibition. The continued criminalization of adult marijuana use is out-of-step with the views of adults throughout America, 93% of whom support medical marijuana (Quinnipiac, 2017) and 60 percent of whom endorse the outright legalization of recreational cannabis (Gallup, 2016).
The leadership displayed by Representatives Rohrabacher, Blumenauer, Polis, and Young is a testament to this growing public consensus. The official establishment of this Caucus represents our growing, bipartisan support in Congress.