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New York Medical and Recreational Marijuana Reform News; Legal Marijuana in New York Update

Medical Marijuana News New York Reform Update:

New York made medical marijuana legal last year when it passed Assembly Bill 6357.  The law became effective when Governor Andrew Cuomo gave his signature of approval.  In general, the act amends the public health law in New York and gives patients access to medically approved uses for marijuana.  The bill will allow New Yorkers with diagnosed degenerative diseases to use medical marijuana.  Cuomo says that he has sympathy for these patients and can appreciate that medical marijuana may alleviate the various symptoms that are associated with the diseases.  The state taxes marijuana at 7 percent which is paid by the dispensary registering the sale.  The Department of Health in the state is responsible for establishing the appropriate registration process and regulations.

Medical and Recreational Marijuana News Update in New York:

Although New York passed legislation that opens the doors for medical marijuana, the door to recreational marijuana in the state is still closed.  Currently, there are only four states in the U.S. in which recreational marijuana is legal.  The states that have made recreational marijuana legal include Washington, Alaska, Oregon and Colorado.  Will New York be the next state to approve recreational marijuana?  It is has taken a step in that general direction by decriminalizing the possession of small amounts of marijuana.  As it stands now, any New Yorker found to be in possession of a small amount of marijuana, 25 grams or less, will be issued a fine of $100.

Senator Liz Krueger and Assemblywoman Crystal Peoples-Stokes introduced the Marijuana Regulation and Taxation Act.  This Act would legalize marijuana for all persons over the age of 21 in New York.  In general, this legislation would regulate and tax marijuana in a way that is similar to alcohol.  Rules and regulations would be applied to the possession, use, cultivation, and sale of marijuana just as the rules and regulations associated with alcohol use and sale exist.  According to the legislation, marijuana would be sold and approved at licensed retailers and persons would only be able to purchase two ounces or grow up to six plants for personal consumption.  Resell would not be permitted and smoking marijuana in public would not be allowed.  Despite this legislation and the efforts of many in New York who believe in the marijuana reform process, there are still many that hold contrary opinions.  As a result of these conflicting opinions, approval of recreational marijuana law in the state of New York could still be an uphill battle.




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