New York lawmakers have introduced legislation to permit the personal cultivation and retail sale of marijuana. This legislation is pending in both houses of the state legislature. “The Marihuana Taxation and Regulation Act” would regulate the commercial cultivation and retail sale of marijuana to adults over the age of 21. It also permits the home cultivation of up to six marijuana plants by those age 18 or older.
A group of US Senators introduced The Compassionate Access, Research Expansion, and Respect States (CARERS) Act, to strengthen state medical cannabis protections and impose various changes to federal law. Passage of the measure permits qualified patients, doctors, and businesses to engage in state-sanctioned behavior involving the production, sale, or use of medical cannabis without fear of federal prosecution. The proposal reschedules cannabis at the federal level and removes the compound cannabidiol (CBD) from the Controlled Substances Act.
NYS Sen. Squadron and Assembly Member Rodriguez have reintroduced S. 137 & A. 6218, the “Fairness and Equity Act” ("FEA"), a comprehensive piece of legislation that would expand the decriminalization of cannabis in NY. Enacting the FEA would not only put an end to the racially biased practice of arresting mostly young men of color for criminal possession of cannabis, it would also establish a procedure for people previously convicted of certain cannabis crimes to vacate their judgments.
A bipartisan coalition of nine House lawmakers has introduced legislation, House Resolution 667: The Veterans Equal Access Act, to permit Department of Veterans Affairs health care providers “to provide recommendations and opinions to veterans regarding participation in state marijuana programs.” Passage of this act would allow VA doctors to recommend cannabis therapy to veterans in states that allow for its therapeutic use.
Marijuana prohibition applies to everyone, including the sick and dying. Of all the negative consequences of prohibition, none is as tragic as the denial of medicinal cannabis to the tens of thousands of seriously ill patients who could benefit from its therapeutic use. Until Congress is persuaded to amend federal law legalizing prescriptive access to marijuana, states have an obligation to protect patients seeking relief with medical cannabis from arrest and prosecution under state law. Basic compassion and common sense demand that we allow America's seriously ill citizens to use whatever medication is safe and effective to alleviate their pain and suffering. - Keith Stroup, Esq., Founder, NORML