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Thursday, April 12, 2012

Medical Marijuana in New York

As we get closer to the voting season a number of states have been working to join the other 16 states that currently allow medical marijuana use for serious illnesses. The state of New York seemed to be gearing up to vote on the subject this year, but, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo stated this week that it is unlikely the state legislature will take up the issue of medical marijuana this year. He noted that he believed that more research needed to be conducted before medical marijuana could make the ballot.

The Wall Street Journal reported that the New York legislators in the House and Senate are drafting a medical marijuana bill. Governor Cuomo said that while he understands the benefits of medical marijuana, he thinks the risks outweigh them at this point. He noted he did not think the bill would be on the agenda this year, before the legislative session ends in late June.

Not all officials shared his opinion. “We’ve done much more complicated legislation in much less time,” said Richard Gottfried, Chairman of the Assembly Health Committee, who is expected to introduce a new bill in coming weeks. “I think he would find that it’s something we could easily get done this year.”

Medical marijuana programs are a sticky subject for every state that wants a program and even the states that have a program already in place. The federal government continues to crack down on people who are participants, even if they are following state laws.

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