New York Assembly Overwhelmingly Approves Medical Marijuana Measure

  • by Erik Altieri, NORML Executive Director June 3, 2013

    Legislation that allows for the therapeutic use of cannabis by qualified patients, Assembly Bill 6357, was approved today by members of the New York state Assembly in a 95-38 vote. The debate now moves to the Senate where members are expected to take up companion legislation, Senate Bill 4406, in the coming days.

    These measures would allow for the therapeutic use of cannabis by qualified patients who possess a recommendation from their physician. They are being supported by a bi-partisan coalition of more than 50 lawmakers.

    Under these measures, state-registered patients diagnosed with one of over a dozen serious medical conditions — including cancer, HIV, post-traumatic stress, arthritis, diabetes, or epilepsy — would be allowed to possess up to 2 and one-half ounces of cannabis. The measure also allows for the establishment of licensed not-for-profit and for-profit facilities to produce and distribute cannabis to qualified patients. Non-registered patients would be able to present an affirmative defense of medical necessity at trial.

    New York voters strongly support allowing patients to have access to marijuana therapy. According to a 2013 Sienna Research Institute poll, 82 percent of New Yorkers — including 81 percent of Democrats and Republicans — endorse the use of marijuana when authorized by a physician. This is an increase in support of 21 percent since pollsters last asked the question in 2012.

    Despite this widespread public support, Senate Co-Leader Dean Skelos (R-Nassau County) has stated his opposition to the measure. New York Governor Andrew Cuomo stated he opposed the measure, but was keeping an “open mind” on the issue.

    If you live in New York, it is imperative that your elected officials hear from you. Please take a minute and click here to quickly and easily contact your State Senator, Senate Co-Leader Skelos, and Governor Cuomo and tell them to stand with the overwhelming majority of New Yorkers by supporting this important legislation.

    NORML will continue to update you in the coming weeks as this proposal moves forward. You can track the progress of marijuana law reform legislation in other states via NORML’s ‘Take Action’ page here.

    39 responses to “New York Assembly Overwhelmingly Approves Medical Marijuana Measure”

    1. Anonymous says:

      bout fucking time

    2. xDOWNSOUTHx says:

      Marijuana helps my PTSD.

      The south needs help to legalize so I don’t have to keep living in fear of using marijuana and being arrested!

    3. Dianne Roberts says:

      This has got to pass. Give me & others the opportunity to a cure that is proven to save lives as in other states. I am currently under chemo not by choice, for Breast Cancer diagnosed in Dec. 2012. Allow my voice & others to be heard. Thank You

    4. Gweedo says:

      This type of bill has been passed by the NY Assembly before, but has always failed in the Senate. On the other hand, this is the most support an MMJ bill has ever had from the Assembly members. We’ll see if that means anything to the Senate.

    5. phrtao says:

      Only 82 percent approve the use of prescribed marijuana. How could anyone think that someone should not have access to a substance prescribed for them by a doctor ? Even if you believed that cannabis was a dangerous addictive substance doctors prescribe other dangerous addictive substances all the time (because a patient has urgent medical needs) and no one suggests that those substances be unavailable.
      I think if you took away the name marijuana and called it substance X and then explained the full situation no one would even think about restricting access.

    6. Anonymous says:

      legalize regulate tax

    7. Timmy d says:

      The number of positive medical uses there are for marijauna , the. Legalization of it will definitely knock a lot of legal over th e counte r and prescribed meds like a sleeping aids oh their are just too many to mention now but like all new drugs ,oh by the way, marijauna is not a new medication but a very old and always reliable, the reason the pharmaceuticals , yes the people who brought you the lies of cannabinoids, have now been found out . Just wait a couple more years and with the money behind the research , you will then realize , you forefathers really shoved it In and broke it off. Should they ever be forgiven. Time will tell

    8. patrick says:

      i have severe pain from eight bad discs three in my neck five in my lumbar spine and one back surgery i have to take hydrocodone every day i used to smoke a little pot to help with the pain and it realy worked well but then they started drug testing and i had to stop now i have more pain again please help people like me ith our pain through legalazation thankyou for your time

    9. warren says:

      I`ve been waiting 40 years for these fuddy duddys to WAKE THE FUCK UP.

    10. AJ says:

      It’ll never pass. The politicians in NY are some of the most corrupt, dishonest people this country has ever seen. And NORML, where the hell are you campaigning in NY? Still rolling with delight over Colorado and Washington? Well how about you guys get your asses in gear to help NYers or are you guys doing nothing besides being a fashion statement?