The State of New York and Medical Marijuana

The state of New York has been in limbo for a while now as far as the potential legislation surrounding the legalization of medical marijuana. There are a lot of politicians, including the governor, who realize the benefits of it, but for some reason they still face hurdles in getting the legislation passed. The governor, Andrew Cuomo, is currently going back-and-forth on his stance and has recently said that while he understands the benefits that right now it is his feeling that the risks outweigh them.

Governor Cuomo also made note of the fact that due time constraints, he does not think that there will be enough time to get a medical marijuana bill passed during this year’s legislative session which ends in late June. However, this is in contrast to the thoughts of many people in the New York Legislature who are working on a bill in hopes of getting it drafted before the end of the session. There are 16 other states that have enacted medical marijuana laws and most of those in the New York Legislature would like to join them.

There are even members of the Legislature who feel that blaming the end of the session in June for there not being a bill passed is simply an excuse. The supporters of the medical marijuana bill have made it a point to mention that there have been plenty of other bills fast tracked and drafted in far less time than they have until the end of the session again, seeing it as just another excuse used by those who opposed the bill.

It seems as though at this point that New York’s medical marijuana bill will not officially be addressed until next year session. After hearing the governor’s reaction it seems as though some parts of the legislation would probably have to be tweaked before it would have his full support. It is our opinion that since most of the legislators are in favor of this bill that it will just be a matter of time before it gets passed. There are studies that show that there has not been an increase in the use of marijuana in those 16 other states that have legalized using it from a medical perspective which is definitely a stat that those who are opposed cannot ignore.

Of note also is the fact that advocates for medical marijuana have said multiple times that they are definitely targeting the passage of this bill next year and that it will either be its own stand-alone bill or they will actually work to get it intertwined somehow with depending budget legislation.