Critics Assail Governor Cuomo’s ‘Expensive’ Medical Marijuana Plan As Unfair To The Poor

NEW YORK:  Wanda Hernandez Parks smokes weed every day. But she’s far from a recreational user.

The 52-year-old says marijuana helps keep up her appetite, and numbs the nerve pain that she experiences daily. Hernandez Parks has HIV.

“[Smoking marijuana] helps me cope,” she says. “It pretty much allows me to get out of bed every day and do what I do.”

Along with using cannabis herself for medical reasons, Hernandez Parks is active with an organization called VOCAL-NY, which advocates for, among other things, the legalization of medical marijuana. When Governor Andrew Cuomo last year agreed to take steps toward legalizing the drug for medicinal purposes, VOCAL-NY called it a positive development. But now, others like Hernandez Parks say they’re concerned about a byzantine maze of proposed regulations that will make it difficult for poor people to get their hands on the legal pot.


Marijuana Ad In The NYTs: All The News That’s Fit To Smoke

NEW YORK:  Readers of the Sunday New York Times will have an added distraction to the crossword puzzle:  a paid advertisement for marijuana.  Surprised?  You shouldn’t be.

On July 5, Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed into law New York’s Compassionate Care Act, making the use of medicinal marijuana legal.  Conditions qualifying for legal purchase and use of marijuana include cancer, HIV/AIDS, ALS (Lou Gehrig’s Disease), Parkinson’s Disease, multiple sclerosis, spinal cord tissue damage, epilepsy, inflammatory bowel disease (including Crohn’s Disease, neuropathies and Huntington’s Disease).

The advertiser getting all the buzz (so sorry) is Leafly, but it isn’t actually marijuana at all.  The company is described as a “Yelp” of marijuana, offering an exchange of information in the surprisingly complicated world of selection and ingestion. Leafly’s website describes the company as “the world’s largest cannabis information community,” inviting visitors to “discover, connect and share.”

Negotiations Underway Over Medical Marijuana In New York

NEW YORK:  The lead sponsor of a bill to legalize medical marijuana in New York said Thursday negotiations are underway between the governor’s office, Senate and Assembly and her goal is an agreement within days.

“We have been hoping that the governor’s office would engage because we would really like to have a three-way agreement in time to be printed on Monday so it can be acted on by the end of this session,” said Sen. Diane Savino, a Staten Island Democrat.

Meanwhile, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said on public radio’s “Capitol Pressroom” that he is open to the “Compassionate Care Act,” as the legislation is called, but has reservations. The governor, a Democrat, said he generally approves of the concept but is worried about implementing a safe distribution system that can’t be exploited.

Cuomo has supported exploring medical marijuana use. In January, he announced a pilot program that would allow 20 hospitals statewide to administer the drug to patients under the direction of the state’s health department.

Medical Marijuana To Be Approved In NY Assembly Today

NEW YORK: The state Assembly today is set to approve the Compassionate Care Act — the measure that would legalize medical marijuana in New York.

There’s little suspense: the Democratic-led Assembly has been approving various pieces of legislation to legalize medical marijuana for several years.

If approved, the bill would head to the state Senate, where its fate is uncertain but where a version of which passed the Senate Health Committee last week.

It’ll also be interesting to see how many Republicans back the measure in the Assembly. Last year, marijuana supporter Assemblyman Steve Katz, R-Yorktown, Westchester County, spoke in favor of the measure after he was ticketed for marijuana possession and then changed his vote.

NY State Assembly Includes Comprehensive Medical Marijuana Bill in House Budget Bill, Jumpstarting Negotiations With Senate And Governor

NEW YORK:  Today, the State Assembly is introducing and passing their one-house budget proposal, which, for the first time ever, includes the New York’s comprehensive medical marijuana proposal – the Compassionate Care Act (A.6357-A -Gottfried) / S.4406-A -Savino).

As the Assembly gathers to pass the measure, dozens of patients, families, caregivers and healthcare providers are descending on Albany to press the State Senate to pass the Compassionate Care Act. The patients are living with cancer, multiple sclerosis, severe seizure disorders, and other serious, debilitating medical conditions, and the families include parents of children who suffer from severe forms of epilepsy, such as Dravet syndrome. They will participate in a public hearing on medical marijuana, then meet with legislators throughout the day and, finally, attend a free public event about medical marijuana tonight in Latham at the HopeClub. [Read more…]

Marin County CA To Seek Way To Provide Medical Marijuana

CALIFORNIA:  Marin County officials are coming to the rescue of those who need medical marijuana.

The Board of Supervisors is working on a program it hopes will provide the sick with a marijuana outlet while protecting the county from legal liability — and without raising the ire of federal regulators.

The move comes as the county’s only medical permitted marijuana provider, Marin Holistic Solutions at 200 Tamal Plaza in Corte Madera, is scheduled to go out of business in May when it loses its lease.

The broad outline of a plan in which the county issues a request for proposals from marijuana vendors, reviews them and anoints one or two to operate in suitable unincorporated areas was sketched privately by officials following a call to arms by Supervisor Steve Kinsey this week.

NY Medical Marijuana Debate Heats Up

NEW YORK:  Standing patiently in the chamber of the Nassau County Legislature, Jeff Decker had his hands full as his 7-month-old daughter Mabel squirmed in his arms. His wife Carly Tangney Decker and his mother-in-law Cindy Tangney were testifying at a public hearing held a week before Christmas on a bill to authorize the medical use of marijuana in New York.

Mabel has a rare genetic disorder that causes her to suffer severe epileptic seizures. Her family had driven down from upstate Kingston to tell the Assembly Health Committee’s chairman Richard Gottfried (D-Manhattan), who is co-sponsoring the bill, known as the Compassionate Care Act, with state Sen. Diane Savino (D-Staten Island), that they were leaving that night for Colorado because they had learned that they could legally obtain a marijuana derivative there that had shown promise in treating early onset epilepsy. [Read more…]