New York is close to becoming the 18th state to reject federal drug laws – and legalize medical marijuana. Perhaps not close enough though. Bill A-7347, allowing a licensed practitioner to prescribe marijuana to patients with serious conditions, passed New York Assembly by a vote of 90-50 on Wednesday.
While this may sound like good news, it’s not the first time the New York Assembly has made progress only to be denied vote in the State Senate. It would be the third time in five years.
“It’s a topic that is being discussed and the dialogue is actually increasing,” he said. ” … I think the risks outweigh the benefits at this point. I understand there’s more research and there’s more evidence, and it can always be re-evaluated. I don’t believe there’s going to be time this legislative session to look at that issue, because that issue’s going to take a great deal of time to analyze it properly, and we’re down to the next few weeks here. So I don’t think it’s for this session, but I think it’s an important topic.”
Even when Brooklyn Supreme Court Justice, Gustin Reichbach, has admitted to using marijuana to ease symptoms of pancreatic cancer the political posturing persists.
If any action is to be taken this legislative year, New Yorkers must push their legislators harder. The polls show overwhelming, consistent popular support for this sort of legislation but the politicians won’t follow that trend until they feel at risk of losing money, voters, volunteers and good press. If the grassroots take careful aim, A-7347/S-2774 will see their day for a floor vote.
NOTE: Use the TAC’s legislative tracking page to follow all state-based marijuana bills at this link