NY Governor Andrew Cuomo's Medical Marijuana Plan In State of State Speech Falls Short

NEW YORK:  After making national headlines for his support of medical marijuana, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s State of the State only briefly mentioned his medical marijuana plan.  Cuomo administration officials said that the program would involve distributing medical marijuana through 20 hospitals statewide, and the Department of Health would be charged with promulgating regulations.

Cuomo initially said he would share details about the plan during his state of the state address, but instead provided only limited comment. The Governor’s policy briefing book, published during his speech, outlines what amounts to a medical marijuana research program, not the comprehensive system that patients need. [Read more…]

How A Small-Time Marijuana Arrest Has Devastated A Great Teacher’s Life

NEW YORK:  Think that pot is heading toward legalization? Not in New York City, where police are cracking down on marijuana possession. These arrests are devastating lives. This is the story of what happened to one beloved public school teacher.

“They took my life. They took what I love to do the most.” — Alberto Willmore

Willmore’s story is a common one under Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s administration, as marijuana arrests have soared over the past 12 years. In fact, more people are arrested for possession than any other crime, and 85 percent of those arrested are black or latino.

New York legislation will never be progressive

NEW YORK: Earlier this year, New York looked poised to become the 19th state to legalize medical marijuana. The state Assembly passed a bill by a 99-41 margin June 3. A Quinnipiac poll taken that week indicated that 70 percent of New Yorkers supported the idea. And in the state Senate, the Republicans who had blocked medical-marijuana measures the three times they’d passed the Assembly now retained power only by allying with five renegade Democrats—one of whom, Diane Savino of Staten Island, was the bill’s sponsor. Savino repeatedly said she believed she had enough votes to pass the bill, and would bring it to the floor when the right time came.

That time didn’t come. When the state Senate adjourned early in the morning of June 22, the bill had never reached the floor, despite the renegade Democrat faction’s leader, Jeffrey Klein, cosponsoring a more restrictive revised version. Another measure, to reduce the penalty for marijuana possession “in public view” from a misdemeanor to a $100 fine, also died without a vote in the Senate.

[Read more…]

New York legislation will never be progressive

NEW YORK: Earlier this year, New York looked poised to become the 19th state to legalize medical marijuana. The state Assembly passed a bill by a 99-41 margin June 3. A Quinnipiac poll taken that week indicated that 70 percent of New Yorkers supported the idea. And in the state Senate, the Republicans who had blocked medical-marijuana measures the three times they’d passed the Assembly now retained power only by allying with five renegade Democrats—one of whom, Diane Savino of Staten Island, was the bill’s sponsor. Savino repeatedly said she believed she had enough votes to pass the bill, and would bring it to the floor when the right time came.

That time didn’t come. When the state Senate adjourned early in the morning of June 22, the bill had never reached the floor, despite the renegade Democrat faction’s leader, Jeffrey Klein, cosponsoring a more restrictive revised version. Another measure, to reduce the penalty for marijuana possession “in public view” from a misdemeanor to a $100 fine, also died without a vote in the Senate.

[Read more…]