NYS MEDICAL MARIJUANA BILL: ONE STEP CLOSER TO PASSING
SENATE BILL 4041–B PASSES CODES COMMITTEE 11-5 Empire State NORML hails the vote as evidence that Albany can work. Patients rights may soon be expanded in New York State
Empire State NORML, the New York State chapter of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML) has supported the efforts of the New York State Senate to legalize medical marijuana. Today, the Senate affirmed that this support has not been misplaced. Senate bill 4041–B that “Provides for medical use of marihuana” was passed from the codes committee.
Andrew J. Lanza (R) from the 24th district and John J. Bonacic (R,C,IP) of the 42nd, voted “Aye without recommendation,” illustrating the bipartisan support this bill has enjoyed.
Medical Marijuana Passes Codes Committees
New York State Senate bill S. 4041-B passed the codes committee today 11-5 a ratio of over 2-1. The committee is responsible for assuring any bill which it passes is not in conflict with existing laws and statutes. This bill will now move on to the finance committee.
Adam Scavone of New York Patients First, was in attendance. “We hear every day from patients who are desperate for relief, and there is absolutely no reason that they should suffer because of politics.” He added “We look forward to the final passage of this legislation, and we are hopeful that it will happen this year.”
Finance Committee Takes on Medical Marijuana
Medical Marijuana legislation will now be in the hands of the finance committee. They will likely be influenced by the proposed New York State 2010 – 2011 budget, Included (at the bottom of page 48) is the line “The Senate proposes the legalization of medical marijuana.”
Advocates promise revenue from the legalization of marijuana as well as a savings on law enforcement and incarceration. Allen St. Pierre, the national director of NORML presented the US Treasury with a mock check for $14 billion last April 15th, representing the estimated annual amount spent or lost each year due to marijuana prohibition. Mr. St. Pierre referred to it as a “…green boost to the economy.”
If the bill passes into law, New York would then join 14 other states and the District of Columbia that have approved the medical use of cannabis. Alaska, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Maine, Michigan, Montana, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont and Washington all have state laws allowing marijuana to be used as medicine. The laws vary from state to state. New Jersey passing its through the legislature on January 12th of this year.
Doug Greene (Legislative Committee Chair, Empire State NORML) (516) 242-4666 DougGreene@earthlink.net
Ruth Liebesman Martiniuk Esq. (Executive Director, Empire State NORML) (201) 787-6002 NewYorkNORML@aol.com
Rev. Jay Goldstein (Director of Public Relations, Empire State NORML) (212) 473-2486 Jay@JayGoldstein.net
Adam Scavone (Legislative Director, New York Patients First) (518) 312-0987 Adam@NYPatientsFirst.org