A bill that would legalize medical marijuana in New York has cleared the Health Committee and is headed to the Codes Committee where it will likely be approved and sent to the full Assembly for a vote.
Don’t get too excited, though, stoners — even if the bill does pass in the Assembly (which it likely will, as it already has twice in the past), you’re probably not going to get your hands on medical weed (unless you really, really (really) need it).
Weed advocates say New York is not about to make the same mistakes
that were made with medical marijuana in California — the go-to state
when discussing bad medical marijuana policies — where it seems that
anyone who’s ever had a headache qualifies for a medical marijuana card.
According to weed fans, the bill would “give New York one of the
strictest medical marijuana laws in the country while ensuring patient
access to medical marijuana when appropriate.” It’s only “appropriate”
for people with “serious, debilitating or life-threatening” ailments.
“Serious” and “debilitating” are somewhat vague, so there is some
hope you can scam a doctor into writing you a prescription for weed, but
it’s probably not likely.
Additionally, Governor Andrew Cuomo has said he’s “studying” the pros
and cons of medical marijuana, but that there isn’t enough time this year for the
Legislature to fine-tune the
bill into something he’d
consider signing (we suspect Cuomo’s stance on medical weed has
something to do with his presidential ambitions. More on that here).
“There are tremendous risks,” the governor told reporters in April. “I think the risks outweigh the benefits at this point.”
We asked the governor’s office what “risks” he was referring to, however, we were given no answer. More on that here.
In any event, the bill is now heading for a vote in the Assembly.
Again, though, even if it passes, don’t expect the legalization of
medicinal marijuana in Cuomo’s “progressive” New York.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on May 16, 2012