ALBANY, NY, May 28, 2014 – Yesterday, the New York State Assembly passed a bill to set into motion the process for production and distribution of medical marijuana in the state, which would effectively nullify the unconstitutional federal prohibition on the same.

Assembly Bill 6357 (A06357) sailed through the Assembly on Tuesday by a 94-36 margin. It is expected to have a difficult battle in the state Senate, although inside sources tell the Tenth Amendment Center that with recent Republican support the bill could make it to the Governor’s desk this year.

The federal government lists marijuana as a Schedule I narcotic and attempts to prohibit it for any purpose. Tenth Amendment Center national communications director Mike Maharrey says this clearly violates the Constitution.

“The Constitution delegates no power to the federal government to prohibit marijuana in the states. This power remains with the state governments and the people. Doubt me? Then ask yourself why it required a constitutional amendment to prohibit alcohol. There is no fundamental difference,” Maharrey said.

The bill specifically cites the 10th Amendment as well:

This legislation  is an appropriate exercise of the state’s legislative power to protect the health of its people under article 17 of the state constitution and the tenth amendment of the United  States constitution.

As more states take marijuana policy into their own hands, defying the federal prohibition, the federal government has become increasingly incapable of enforcing its unconstitutional prohibition. They simply lack the resources to stop the tidal wave.  For those concerned about the health care and personal choices of people living in New York, this couldn’t come too soon.

“New Yorkers living with cancer, multiple sclerosis, HIV/AIDS and other serious and debilitating conditions have waited years for relief while our leaders in Albany have played politics with their lives. Enough is enough. It’s time to stop this needless suffering; it’s time for the Compassionate Care Act to become law,” the State Director of the Drug Policy Alliance Gabriel Sayegh said in a press release regarding A06357.

With a similar measure being considered by voters on the November ballot in Florida, both states are vying to become the 22nd state to defy established federal law by authorizing and facilitating what the federal government has attempted to ban. “The last time half the states took action to nullify the federal government was in response to the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850,” said Maharrey. “This is historic.”

A06357 now moves to the State Senate where it will first be considered in committee before the full Senate has an opportunity to concur.


For New York Residents: Take steps to support A06357 by clicking HERE.

For Other States: Find out if your state is working to nullify marijuana prohibition by clicking HERE. Then contact your legislators and demand that they support or introduce legislation to legalize it in your state!