NY Senator Savino and Assemblymen Gottfried Introduce Medical Marijuana Legislation


Medical Marijuana same-as bills introduced in both the NY Senate (S.4406) and NY Assembly (A.6357) today. For the past 16 years Medical Marijuana , or MMJ, bills have came and gone in NY, but this year we have a stronger bill than any other in recent history. Bills of previous years were always vague when defining who and what is covered to use medical marijuana, usually saying "severe debilitating or life-threatening condition" this year however we have a much clearer look at what is covered

"...including, but not limited to, Cancer, Glaucoma, positive status for Human Immunodeficiency Virus or Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome, Parkinson's Disease, Multiple Sclerosis, damage to the nervous tissue of the spinal cord with objective neurological indication of  intractable spasiticity, Epilepsy, Cachexia, Wasting Syndrome, Chron's Disease, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, Neuropathy, Fribromyalgia, Arthritis, Lupus, and Diabetes, or a condition associated with or a complication of such a condition or its treatment (including but not limited to inability to tolerate food, nausea, vomiting, dysphoria or pian) subject to limitation in regulation of the commissioner."

The biggest change might be that NY will be the second state to allow for-profit business entities in the medical marijuana industry. In the most of the medical states you must be a non-profit corporation or cooperative to own and operate a dispensary, Colorado and soon to be New York are the exceptions.

When passed, New york would be of of the first states to mandate testing on cannabis quality and potency. This is a huge step forward in helping prove the legitimacy of the plant as a medicine and will help secure the health and safety of patients with compromised immune systems especially.

Not entirely new, but these bills also have added protections for patients, caregivers and heath care professionals that few other state's have. A MMJ patient is not to be denied of any medical service or organ transplant due to the fact that they use MMJ. Patients and their caregivers are protected from discrimination by landlords, employers, schools, or in court i.e. custody proceedings.

Coming off the heels of success in Colorado and Washington, NY would add a lot of momentum to the movement if we pass a MMJ bill this session. We don't have much time though, the legislators go home for the session in June giving us just over 2 months to get this passed.  It's up to you, the people, to tell your senator to support the Medical Marijuana bill S. 4406.  You can Click Here to use NORML's Action Center and take 1 minute to email your senator to support MMJ in NY (Note: you don't need to use you 9 digit zip code).

I have the utmost confidence that we will legalize the medicinal use of cannabis this year, but we need your help. Check out how to get involved here.

Assemblyman Katz; Against medical pot, then caught with pot.

Assemblyman katzAssemblyman Katz as shown here during his early days as a field scientist and researcher with the World Wildlife fund Early Thursday Morning, on the New York State Thruway, Republican Assemblyman Stephen M. Katz was arrested and Given a DAT(Desk Appearance Ticket). Issuance of a DAT involves a full custodial arrest, handcuffs and a trip to the police station in a squad car, van or wagon. He was brought up on charges for doing 80MPH in a 65MPH zone and...wait for it...Unlawful Possession of Marijuana(§221.05). Interesting...A Legislator being charged with Marijuana possession must've voted for pro-marijuana legislation in the past, right? Nope, Assemblyman Katz has actually voted against medical marijuana in the past.

This is the sort of hypocritical politics that has to be done with before we can pass meaningful Medical and Tax&Regulate legislation in NY. You would be hard pressed to find a individual that smokes Marijuana who doesn't think it should be, at the very least, removed as a schedule I or II drug or has that it has medicinal benefits, and Assemblyman Katz is no different sense he obviously partakes for his own reasons.

I'm not going to speculate his reasons for voting against Medicinal Marijuana  previously, but I hope they will change this time around. And who knows, maybe Assemblyman Katz will be a surprise crusader for strengthening NY's Decriminalization statutes. But until then this is just another story of a misguided politician thinking he was better then the sick patients that seek relief through marijuana because he smokes pot and didn't get caught, until now.

Don't forget,  call Assembly Katz's office, 845-628-3781, and leave a message reminding him the importance of supporting Gov Cuomo's Marijuana Decrim efforts in light of his (most)recent run in with the police.

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