The Report by the New York City Police Department’s “Working Group” is more window dressing than an actual policy change. Rather, it appears to be an elaborate 20 page rationalization to continue the present enforcement protocol without any real progress on the policing front. As of today, the policy continues to leave it to the relatively unfettered discretion in the hands of each officer to decide whether to issue a summons or, subject to a variety of exceptions, affect a full blown arrest for the public consumption of marijuana. The continuation of this policy certainly is better than the old days in that those issued a summons are not fingerprinted and face only a maximum $100 fine for a first offense. But, that is not the policy that the citizens of New York want or need.Read More
By: Troy Smit
(New York, NY) Empire State NORML would like to clarify some of the myths that we're hearing perpetuated about a ballot question appearing before the voters on November 7th.
On Election Day, New York voters will consider Ballot Proposal 1 (“Prop 1”) the question “Shall there be a convention to revise the constitution and amend the same?”. Every 20 years, New Yorkers get to vote on whether or not to have a constitutional convention, which is one of the ways to amend our state Constitution. If Prop 1 is approved, a process begins of electing delegates, holding the convention and voting on proposed constitutional amendments and finally submitting amendments for voter approval in 2019 (a flowchart of the process is at http://www.newyorkconcon.info/).
It's come to our attention that people have been lead to believe that by voting yes on Prop 1, they’re voting to change the laws regarding cannabis, including legalizing its responsible adult use. This is simply untrue and a gross oversimplification of one of the possibilities of holding a constitutional convention. What is true is that if Prop 1 passes, the delegates elected next year will hold the tremendous power to amend our state's Constitution. It’s possible that the delegates could pass an amendment to authorize initiatives and referenda, or an amendment that taxes and regulates cannabis, as Colorado voters did in 2012.
The truth of the matter is that a yes vote for Prop 1 is a vote to hold a constitutional convention in New York. Nothing more, nothing less.
New York: Allow Emergency Access to Medical Cannabis!
New York legislators have introduced a bill to require the Commissioner of Health to establish emergency access to medical cannabis programs and to provide medical cannabis for patients whose serious condition is progressive and degenerative or patients for whom a delay in access to medical cannabis would pose a serious risk to the patient's life or health, before the implementation of the State's medical cannabis program, which is not expected to be operational until January 2016 or later.
The Compassionate Care Act originally contained a provision to allow emergency access to medical cannabis in New Yrok, which was removed by Governor Cuomo in the negotiations leading to its passage. Since then, three young girls have died from being denied expedited access to the medicine they needed and many families with children who need access to medical cannabis have left New York State.
Below you will find a simple script to guide you through a call and a sample letter for you to email or mail. Call to Senator/Assemblymember's office:
Hello, I am a constituent of the [Senator OR Assemblymember] and my name is [Your Name] and I live at [Your Address or zip-code] and I would like to leave a message for the [Senator OR Assemblymember].
I would like to urge they support Senate Bill 5086 and Assembly Bill 7060, which would require the Commissioner of Health to establish a program to provide emergency access to medical cannabis for patients who can't wait for a robust program to be operational.
Thank you for your time, have a nice day.
You can use this text, or modify as you see fit, and mail / email it to them to show your support for the sick and dying patients in this state by allowing emergency access to medical cannabis.
Letter to Senator/Assemblymember text:
Allow New Yorkers with Progressive and Degenerative Serious Conditions Emergency Access to Marijuana
Dear Honorable [Senator OR Assemblymember] [Rep's Last Name here]
I'm urging you to support Senate Bill 5086 and Assembly Bill 7060, which would require the Commissioner of Health to establish a program to provide emergency access to medical cannabis for patients whose serious condition is progressive and degenerative or for whom delay in the patient's certified medical use of cannabis poses a serious risk to the patient's life or health, before the implementation of the State's medical marijuana program, which is not expected to be operational until January 2016 or later.
The Compassionate Care Act originally contained an emergency access provision, which was removed by Governor Cuomo and Senator Skelos in the negotiations leading to its passage. Since then, three young girls have died from not being able to access the medicine they needed.
Whether or not you supported the Compassionate Care Act, I encourage you to support Senate Bill 5086 and Assembly Bill 7060, because the most critically ill New Yorkers can’t wait until next year for their medicine.
Best Wishes, [Your Name Here] [Your Address/Zip code here]
Action Alert for the NY Emergency Access bill
Assembly Member Richard N. Gottfried's NY Emergency Access bill to create an emergency access program for patients with the most urgent needs is getting voted on by Assembly Health Committee TODAY. let's get it passed and force the Senate and Gov. Cuomo to act!
How to help:
1. Call Speaker Carl Heastie at (518) 455-4800 and ask him to bring the NY Emergency Access bill to a floor vote as soon as possible.
2. Call your Assembly member (if you don't know who that is, go to http://assembly.state.ny.us/mem/search/) at his or her Albany office and ask him or her to support A. 7060, the emergency medical marihuana program bill;
Sample Script: Please note - You will get a live person when calling within normal business hours. " Hi, My name is _______ ______, I am a NYS Resident.
I would like to leave a message for Speaker Heastie and my support for A. 7060, a bill to provide Emergency Access to medical marijuana.
I want to urge the speaker to support the NY Emergency Access bill and bring it to the floor for a full vote. Thank you for your time, have a nice day!"
Remember: Be polite, care and share!
NHTSA Report Shows Drivers Safer Stoned Than Drunk.
By: Jay Tiftickjian. Guest Writer & Attorney.
Drivers who have been drinking alcohol have a greater chance of being in an accident than drivers who have been smoking marijuana. Safe driving is essential for our communities, and no one wants dangerous drivers to get behind the wheel, but there is minimal evidence to say that getting stoned makes you more dangerous. Drivers Safer Stoned Than Drunk.
Several recent studies are confirming that driving under the influence of marijuana is much safer than driving after you have been consuming alcohol. A drunk driver can be four more times likely to crash their car. However a stoned driver may only be five percent more likely to crash-when age and gender factors are taken into consideration. Cannabis users who get behind the wheel are unfairly targeted for their lifestyle when there is only minimal evidence that driving while stoned actually puts them or others at risk. Police should be targeting genuine causes of traffic incidents and working to reduce the problems that are more likely to lead to injury or death.
The current laws in Colorado dictate that if you have a certain amount of THC in your blood, than you are a dangerous driver. However two recent studies by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reveal that this does not provide an accurate indication of the driver’s level of impairment. An individual with THC in their blood may or may not be more dangerous than the average driver, yet this THC level is used to identify an impaired driver.
Tackling the causes of traffic accidents is important for our country, however it needs to be done using accurate scientific rationale. The current practices have no correlation with science and are unfairly discriminatory towards users of cannabis who are causing little to no level of harm on our roads. Alcohol has been proven to be detrimental to people who consume it and then get behind the wheel. There is no doubt that this is a concern to our society; however the same concern does not apply to users of cannabis.
Accurate tests need to be introduced, if laws are going to continue to target drug users. If the presence of THC in your blood is not an accurate measure of driver impairment, as proven by scientific studies, a new strategy needs to be introduced. The current practices penalize marijuana users for no adequate reason, waste tax payers’ dollars, and are not working to create a safer environment on our roads.
Anyone who has been accused of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs should contact a criminal defense/DUI attorney as soon as possible to retain legal representation. Drivers Safer Stoned Than Drunk.
Editors Note: This does not constitute as legal advice and Empire State NORML does not condone the operating any vehicle under the influence of any substance. The author of 'Drivers Safer Stoned Than Drunk' is a guest writer working in CO and not directly affiliated with the chapter. Jay Tiftickjian the guest writer of ' Drivers Safer Stoned Than Drunk'. He is a trial lawyer, author, and legal analyst. One of the Colorado’s top DUI defense attorneys, Tiftickjian has received extensive training in DUI techniques and has been called upon multiple times to organize Colorado Criminal Defense Bar seminars specialized to DUI Defense. Tiftickjian is an elected member of the board for the Colorado Criminal Defense Bar. He has also been named Barrister’s Best DUI lawyer in 2012 and 2013 as well as People’s Choice - Best DUI Lawyer in 2013 and 2014. Author of several authoritative books, including “Colorado DUI Defense: The Law and Practice,” “Facing a DUI Charge in Colorado: What You Need to Know,” and the “Colorado DUI Defense Manual,”. Tiftickjian’s works are widely used and consulted by practitioners.
Jay Tiftickjian article.: Drivers Safer Stoned Than Drunk. http://www.9news.com/story/news/local/2015/02/10/study-stoned-drivers-are-safer-than-drunk-drivers/23215959/
Drivers Safer Stoned Than Drunk.