New York Legislature Approves Medical Cannabis Legalization Bill, Governor Expected to Sign Into Law
News June 19, 2014 by TheJointBlog
New York’s House voted at 2:51AM EST on June 19th to approve the Compassionate Care Act, a proposal to legalize medical cannabis. The vote, which was 113 to 13, occurred just several hours after the Senate approved the same measure.
Under the proposed law, which now goes to Governor Andrew Cuomo, individuals will be allowed to possess cannabis for medical purposes if they receive a recommendation from a physician, and subsequently receive a registration card from the State Health Department. Unfortunately an amendment was approved to prohibit the consumption of cannabis through traditional smoking, because Governor Cuomo threatened to veto the bill if such a change wasn’t made. Vaporizing, however, would be allowed, as would the consumption of cannabis through edibles, lotions, tinctures, oils and so forth.
The bill would also allow for a limited number of medical cannabis dispensaries in order to provide safe access to the medicine, though the number of outlets would be limited to just five.
Proposals to legalize medical cannabis in New York have been approved five other times in the past by the state’s Assembly; this marks the first time the Senate has approved such a measure.
Given the approved amendments, Governor Andrew Cuomo is expected to quickly sign the bill into law.