New York lawmakers continue to debate legislation this year that seeks to enact legal protections for authorized medical marijuana patients.
Assembly Bill A. 9016 , and its Senate companion bill, S. 4041 would allow state-qualified patients to possess up to 2.5 ounces of medical marijuana for therapeutic purposes. However, unlike the medical cannabis laws that have been enacted in 13 of 14 states, New York’s proposals would not allow patients to legally cultivate their own medical marijuana.
Instead, the bills seek to establish not-for-profit facilities to manufacture and distribute marijuana to qualified patients. As introduced, A 9016 and S. 4041 define these patients as those diagnosed by their physician to be suffering “a severe debilitating or life-threatening condition, ... including but not limited to (an) inability to tolerate food, nausea, vomiting, dysphoria, or pain.”
While we believe that several provisions in these proposals are unduly restrictive (e.g., no home cultivation and/or limiting qualifying patients solely to those with a ‘life-threatening condition’), we also recognize that passage of this legislation will help to ensure that many medical marijuana patients in New York will no longer have to fear arrest or prosecution from state law enforcement. It is our hope that these provisions may be expanded or amended during the legislative process so that many other deserving patients may also benefit from this proposed legislation.
Senate Bill 4041 is presently before the Senate Committee on Codes. Assembly Bill 9016 is before the Assembly Committee on Codes.
Join us to contact your Senator and/or Assemblyman regarding these proposals: