The battle to legalize medical marijuana in New York State has been a tough one. Multiple times legislation was introduced to legalize medical marijuana in New York, and multiple times it was approved by the New York Assembly. However, everytime the bill was moved to the New York Senate it died. This year might be the year that streak ends.
The New York ‘Compassionate Care Act’ passed a significant hurdle this week. Per The Huffington Post:
A bill to legalize medical marijuana in New York state cleared what may have been its final obstacle Thursday.
Sen. Diane Savino (D) said at a press conference in Albany Thursday that the Compassionate Care Act — which would legalize medicinal use of the drug in New York — has been moved from the Senate Finance Committee to the Rules Committee. Earlier this week, Finance Committee Chairman Sen. John DeFrancisco (R) seemingly threatened to prevent the bill from coming to a vote.
Seeing bills move to the New York Senate Rules Committee at the end of the legislative session usually means that the bill is going to see a full vote soon. If so, Compassionate Care Act supporters feel confident that they have enough votes in the New York Senate to pass the bill. If that happens, New York would finally have a decent medical marijuana program, and patients would finally see light at the end of a very long tunnel. New York’s Governor has stated that he would likely sign the bill into law.
The State of New York would be a huge domino for the medical marijuana movement. While the Compassionate Care Act isn’t perfect, it’s much better than legislation that has been passed recently by other states, and is much better than the medical marijuana research program that New York’s Governor has been pushing. Multiple other states have passed CBD-only legislation that is a far cry from true medical marijuana reform. There are still many details to be worked out in New York, but this week’s progress is very encouraging.