"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:
New York: Support Legislation To Expand State’s Medical Marijuana Law
Legislation is pending, Senate Bill 1087, to expand the state’s medical marijuana law by removing the existing prohibition on herbal cannabis preparations. Under existing law, qualified patients are forbidden from obtaining whole-plant cannabis. Instead, they are required to access only cannabis-infused oral products such as oils, pills, or extracts prepared from the plant. “Smoking” or inhaling herbal cannabis is not defined as a “certified medical use.” These restrictions unnecessarily limit patients’ choices and deny them the ability to obtain rapid relief from whole-plant cannabis in a manner that has long proven to be relatively safe and effective. Senate Bill 1087 amends the law so that the possession and inhalation of herbal cannabis is no longer illegal.
Buffalo: Contact the Buffalo Common Council to sponsor the Buffalo Cannabis Act
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.
New York: Legalization Measure Introduced to Legislature
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.
Update: (2/23) White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer suggested that the Trump administration will step up enforcement of federal laws against marijuana. “I do believe that you’ll see greater enforcement,” Spicer said, and added that the exact policy is “a question for the Department of Justice.”
Representative Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA), along with six other Republicans and six Democrats, has reintroduced bipartisan legislation, ‘The Respect State Marijuana Laws Act,’ to prevent the federal government from criminally prosecuting individuals and/or businesses who are engaging in state-sanctioned activities specific to the possession, use, production, and distribution of marijuana.
HR 975 states, ‘‘Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the provisions of this subchapter related to marihuana shall not apply to any person acting in compliance with State laws relating to the production, possession, distribution, dispensation, administration, or delivery of marihuana.’’
Passage of this Act would halt federal officials from prosecuting individuals and businesses for violating the Controlled Substances Act in the 29 states that permit either the medical or adult use and distribution of marijuana. According to national polling, 71 percent of voters believe that the federal government should respect these laws and not interfere with them.
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.