For years advocates have been fighting to allow those who can benefit from it to use marijuana legally for medical purposes in the State of New York – those efforts may finally be paying off. Recently New York’s Assembly Health Committee approved a measure to legalize medical marijuana, establishing state licensed dispensaries, and authorizing qualified patients, who become licensed through the state, to legally possess, consume and purchase up to 2.5 ounces of marijuana. The measure is expected to pass the full House.
Once it passes the House, it will head to the Senate – the farthest a medical marijuana bill has ever made it in New York. In a recent press conference the prime sponsor of the bill, Senator Diane Savino, stated that there are 38 senators planning to vote for the measure. It needs 31 to advance.
If all goes as planned, this would put it directly in the hands of Governor Cuomo for final approval. Cuomo supports, and has been working consistently towards decriminalizing the public display of marijuana in the state (marijuana possession is decrimed, but public display is not, leading to problems like the stop and frisk policy in New York City), but has stated on numerous occasions that he opposes medical marijuana legalization. However, in an interview from this week, Govenror Cuomo stated that his opinion is evolving, and that he has an “open mind” on the issue.
This is a promising sign that at the very least, he won’t veto the measure. However, it’s become urgent and more vital than ever that residents of New York contact the governor, asking him to support medical marijuana.
Senator Savino stated today in a radio interview that Cuomo supporting the measure is a political win, regardless, as “Medical marijuana polls off the charts … in every demographic, every age group”.
Constituents in New York can contact Govenror Cuomo by filling out this contact form, calling his office at (518)-474-8390, and emailing him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
It’s far past time that New York join the rapidly growing number of states which have taken the compassionate path of allowing the use of marijuana as a medicine.