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New York: The Hempire State?

  • by Erik Altieri, NORML Communications Director May 20, 2013

    Marijuana law reform is gaining some serious momentum in New York as we approach the end of this year’s legislative session.

    Recent polling data released by Siena Research Institute revealed that 82% of New Yorkers support the medical use of marijuana. Fortunately for New York lawmakers, they can take action to address this issue that’s supported by an overwhelming majority of their constituents. Medical marijuana legislation is currently pending in both Houses of the New York Legislature and these measures have been gaining substantial political support. This legislation is expected to be debated by elected officials in the coming weeks. If you live in New York, click here to quickly and easily contact your state politicians and urge them to support this important legislation.

    In addition to medical marijuana, it seems that full legalization will also soon be debated. State Senator Liz Krueger announced her intentions to introduce legislation that would legalize the recreational use and limited cultivation of marijuana. The measure would also allow for the commercial sale of marijuana at retail outlets regulated by the New York State Alcohol Authority.

    “It is my intention as a New York State senator to soon introduce a law that would actually decriminalize, regulate and tax marijuana in New York,” stated Sen. Krueger.

    NORML will update you when this legislation is introduced.

    24 Responses to “New York: The Hempire State?”

    1. @yessickart says:

      cool beans jack. get er done, from TN , normlize it. 100,000,000 masterminds, all at the same time. peace.

    2. jimmy says:

      State Senator Liz Kruger should be commended for her announced plans to introduce legislation that is at least as progressive as has already passed in Colorado and Washington. Kudos. You have my vote for state senate as a NY resident.

    3. TwistedSchism says:

      Finally it’s my states turn !!

    4. Gweedo says:

      This is outstanding! I am a recently new New Yorker, so I am incredibly excited to hear this news. I will definitely go ahead and look up my representatives and let them know how they can make this great state even greater.

    5. Miles says:

      God Bless you Liz Krueger for showing intelligence and compassion regarding marijuana. I’m so very happy that at least a few of our Senators are showing a willingness to part from the stupidity and arrogance of the past! However, it is truly sad that most senators and congressmen continue their idiotic ways… They need to be voted (or thrown) the hell out ASAP!

      Why can’t we, as a democratic nation, simply decide to end the madness and destruction that has been caused by marijuana prohibition?

      Answer: Greed, ignorance, arrogance…

      I only hope that more of our elected officials come to realize the incredible harm that has been, and continues, because of marijuana prohibition and find the courage and integrity to do something to help end it.

      Senator Liz Krueger – SALUTE!!!

    6. Yo when Alabama gonna make a move? We now know it’s not the “demon weed” it’s the best and most useful plant know to mankind!!

    7. Christopher says:

      Best Birthday Present Ever! Thanks New York!

    8. King Kobra says:

      Good news for NY. I’m right across the border in PA, perhaps it’s time to move ;)

    9. A Voter says:

      Please will everyone call their representative.
      Tell them you are just like me, a Voter.
      It might work.
      End the drug war. End it now.

    10. MrFlippers says:

      This is some great news. As a native upstate New Yorker myself, I’ve been waiting for the day when we finally do the thing we pride ourselves in and seriously consider taking that final step to join a number of other progressive states that beat us to the punch. It’s a sign of things to come!

    11. John says:

      Thanks Liz I am in a legal citutation and the sooner they legalize marijuana the sooner I can put it behind me and do what I am good at !! growing

    12. TheOracle says:

      And this link to the article about the neighbor state just south of New York. Professor Madonna is the only one polling on cannabis in Pennsylvania that I know of. Is he someone the cannabis community can work with? Will he work with the cannabis community if called upon?

      http://www.pennlive.com/opinion/index.ssf/2013/05/its_not_your_grandfathers_pennsylvania_anymore_terry_madonna_and_michael_l_young.html#incart_river

      It’s not your grandfather’s Pennsylvania anymore: Terry Madonna and Michael L. Young
      Print
      By Patriot-News Op-Ed
      on May 20, 2013 at 7:15 AM, updated May 20, 2013 at 7:18 AM

      Email

      By Terry Madonna and Michael L. Young

      When he was asked to describe Pennsylvania, Washington political consultant James Carville, who helped elect Pennsylvania Gov. Bob Casey and U.S. Sen. Harris Wofford, once declared that the state was “Philadelphia and Pittsburgh with Alabama in between.” On another occasion, he added: “Pennsylvania is two cities separated by Alabama.”
      View full size

      Carville’s now famous maxim succinctly expressed the conventional wisdom–then and now: Pennsylvania is a culturally conservative state where tradition is strong, change is slow, and fundamental beliefs are enduring. In truth, that description of the state culture was probably fair for much of the 20th century.

      But the past may no longer be prologue for Pennsylvania.

      Indeed, much recent polling in the state strongly suggests a long-term dynamic shift is underway in public opinion, especially among younger Pennsylvanians–a shift that may foreshadow major changes in Pennsylvania’s political culture.

      The historical assumption that Pennsylvania’s voters are hardcore cultural conservatives is outdated. The Keystone State simply isn’t your grandfather’s Pennsylvania anymore.

      The most recent Franklin & Marshall College poll offers a glimpse of why this is occurring by examining voter’s attitudes about marijuana, gay rights and gun control, all hot button cultural issues that tend to clearly locate voters along the conservative-liberal continuum.
      Bellwether cultural issues already enjoy majority support including medical marijuana, some gun control measures, gay marriage, and gay civil unions.

      Of these, the legalization of marijuana is arguably the litmus test of whether one is culturally conservative or liberal. Not surprisingly Pennsylvanians still oppose recreation marijuana, 54 percent oppose while 38 percent approve.

      Quite surprising, however, is that support for recreation marijuana has increased almost 75 percent in the past seven years. In 2006, barely a fifth (22 percent) approved, but approvals now approach four in ten Pennsylvania voters (38 percent). Even more dramatic, a stunning 72 percent of voters opposed recreational marijuana in 2006; today, it is slightly more than half opposing (54 percent).

      At this rate of change a majority of Pennsylvanians might favor recreational marijuana before this decade ends and possibly sooner.

      In fact, other bellwether cultural issues already enjoy majority support including medical marijuana, some gun control measures, gay marriage, and gay civil unions.

      A striking eight in ten voters (82 percent) favor allowing medical marijuana if prescribed by a doctor. Almost nine of ten voters (89 percent) favor universal gun background checks for all gun sales. More than half (54 percent) favor gay marriage, while two-thirds (65 percent) favor civil unions for same-sex couples.

      The strongest support for liberal oriented cultural issues tends to come from women rather than men, Democrats rather than Republicans, college educated voters and younger voters.

      But it is the support of younger voters that looms most important. Youth is the demographic cohort leading Pennsylvania’s liberal culturalization. More specifically, dynamically changing attitudes toward a cluster of culturally significant issues are being driven by young college educated voters living in the eastern half of the state.

      Demography may not always be destiny. But when trends are driven by younger voters, who are entering or have recently entered the electorate, then demographic trends often do portend irreversible change. And that is what we see here.

      That they are young is significant because over time their generation will become a larger and larger part of the total electorate; that they are college educated is significant because most of the state’s future leadership will come from this group; and that they are from the eastern part of the state is significant because this is where population growth is occurring in Pennsylvania.

      But while young voters are leading this parade they are far from comprising the entire parade. Support for gay marriage for example is a solid 55% in Philadelphia, but it is an overwhelming 70 percent in the Philadelphia suburbs. Even in the less than liberal Central Pennsylvania area, support for gay marriage is just short of a majority (49 percent).

      Only in western Pennsylvania outside of Allegheny County,and in some rural areas of the state do the more traditional views on marijuana, gun control measures, and gay unions prevail. And these areas, as noted, are growing slowly if at all compared to the rest of Pennsylvania.

      It is no longer the case that cultural change is coming to Pennsylvania. It is here already and will only accelerate in the years ahead. Pennsylvania politicians may choose to ignore these trends, but neither they nor anyone else will stop them.

      Madonna is professor of Public Affairs at Franklin & Marshall College. Young is a former professor of Politics and Public Affairs at Penn State University and managing partner of Michael Young Strategic Research

    13. Anonymous says:

      Tobacco,Alcohol,and Firearms,all started out Easy to find and inexpensive.But as time goes buy they slowly started putting laws in place to make it harder to find and very expensive.Just make sure they cross there T’s ,and dot there i’s and that there fingers are not crossed.That the Federal Gov stays the F#$K out and goes back to what they do best (nothing).

    14. evan says:

      everyone post this on facebook and twitter raise awareness on this subject enough people are in jail aleady stop the madnesss

    15. Wendy's Waiting says:

      A couple years too late to help during my chemo treatment but not too late to help my fibromyalgia/CFS that seems a permanent side effect of the chemo. Finally a senator with some balls! Yay Liz!

    16. pat says:

      does anyone really think “we the people” the 82% will really pass a vote? we have no say! watch and learn…..government rules not us

    17. Finally some hope says:

      What I don’t like: While it’s exciting that the current identical medical marijuana bills are being debated, it does not allow registered patients to grow their own. This bill is promoting “registered facilities” to grow and distribute. Patients would be limited to 2.5 ounces total. Also they would not be allowed to openly display or consume in public. (I believe there should be the legal right of patients to grow at least a few small plants behind locked fence or indoors.)

      What I like: That there is still some allowed “medical defense” at trial for those that don’t register, but follow the medical law limitations. Also registered patients can exchange cannabis without exchanging money to other registered patients within the 2.5 ounce limit, this allows culture, community and sharing without fear. Distribution facilities accepting all state cards is also very compassionate and will be good for medical tourism and seasonal residents. I also strongly like the protections for things like rights to organ transplants and protections from discrimination in housing/employment.

      What I like most: I congratulate Liz Krueger’s push for legalization of recreational use. I feel this is where things will realistically have to end up anyhow. It’s not like NYS lives in a bubble, when surrounding states legalize, it will make it all that more difficult for NYS to run a “medical only” program. The most cost efficient thing to do is to simply legalize. There is no need to build facilities and distribution programs that will not make any economic sense in the near future.

    18. New Yorker says:

      About time for my state! I thought it wasn’t going to be till a few more years into the future. This is awesome news for New Yorkers. Can’t wait.

    19. grandma3d says:

      We are so far behind Canada’s Hemp development. The fat-cat oil investors squashed it. We could have been breathing clean air. Since 1941 on. Someone should be held accountable. We have to buy hemp from Canada. check out this hemp car.

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=54vD_cPCQM8

    20. Mark Innes says:

      America does not do its best following leaders elsewhere. Americans are forward thinking, progressive, reverent, and leading by example. Letting the world lead us out of the controversial, destructive, and negative war on drugs will further lend to our reactive, derogative, and elitist legislation being debated and passed nationwide.

    21. Maux Kelly says:

      The MS society disapproves. What Pharma bought them? unbelievable.

    22. samantha farley says:

      I really hope they pass this medicimal marijuana i know people who r in so much pain and will never be able to live a normal life but would be nice to be able to enjoy what life they do hAVE LEFT THANKS FOR YOUR CONCERN OUR ELECTED CONGRESS

    23. Dennis Levy says:

      “Our mission is to get marijuana legalized, regulated, and taxed like alcohol in New York” said Deniece Kinash of ‘The American Pot Smokers Association” after a forum on marijuana sponsored by N.Y.S. Senator Liz Krueger (D. 26th). “When most people think about legalized marijuana, they think of either a medical marijuana dispensary, or a stoner bagging up eighths in their apartment. This is not entirely true. Legalized marijuana in New York would mean creating thousands of jobs for unemployed people,” she exclaimed.

    24. Fran says:

      It’s about ****ing TIME!!!!!! Will I live long enough to see this day? Marijuana has been PROVEN to be much safer than alcohol. Being a 60’s person, the ONLY effect grass ever had on me was it ‘took the edge’ off since I’m a type A personality…..that’s all it did….I took things in stride more – instead of stressing out and having high blood pressure. I would so welcome the ability to have a little grass now and then…..AND for all of you naysayers – the LAST thing you want to do on grass is “be violent or drive (ugh). Of course, the pizza place’s deliveries would go up!!

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