ALBANY, N.Y.  – New York moved a step forward toward legalizing marijuana for medical use, joining the swelling ranks of states nullifying the unconstitutional federal ban on weed.

On Monday, the state Assembly passed A06357 99-41.

Under this legislation, 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.

Even so, the feds define alleviating suffering as a criminal activity. Congress and the president claim the constitutional authority to ban marijuana. The Supreme Court concurs. But the opinions of black-robed judicial oracles don’t magically transform the meaning of the Constitution. It delegates no power to regulate plants grown and used within the borders of a state. And the so-called war on drugs rests on the same legal authority as all of the other modern-day undeclared wars.

None.

Doubt this? Then ask yourself – why it took a constitutional amendment to legalize federal alcohol prohibition?

Never-the-less, 19 states have already put the well-being of their citizens above faux federal supremacy, nullified the unconstitutional prohibition and  legalized medical marijuana anyway.  And Illinois and New York may well become states number 20 and 21. The Illinois legislature sent its medical marijuana bill to the governor for his signature late last month.

The message?  When enough people say NO to unconstitutional federal “laws” – and enough states back them up, there’s not much the feds can do about it.

“The rapidly growing and wildly successful state-level movement to legalize marijuana, either completely, or for medical use, proves that states can successfully nullify unconstitutional federal acts. The feds can claim the authority to prohibit pot all they want, but it clearly has done nothing to deter states from moving forward with plans to allow it, pushed by the will of the people,” Tenth Amendment Center executive director Michael Boldin said.

 ACTION ITEMS

If you live in New York, call your state senator and urge them to nullify the unconstitutional federal prohibition on marijuana and vote YES on A06357. You can find Senate contact information HERE

You can track state-level legislation nullifying the federal ban HERE.