|A primo bud of Big Apple namesake New York Diesel. The Empire State is primed to become the 15th in the nation to allow medical marijuana — but, sadly, with no homegrown allowed.|
Months after neighboring New Jersey became the 14th U.S. state to legalize marijuana for medical use with a doctor’s recommendation, New York appears ready to follow suit.
The Empire State’s medical marijuana bill has already passed the State House, and now has favorably cleared a Senate committee, included in the state budget.
Millions in license fees are at stake, reports Lou Young at CBS, but advocates say that’s not why the bill should be approved.
Young reports opposition to the New York bill is weakening, but marijuana being marijuana, of course there are some nervous Nellies.
“We’ve seen it in California. It doesn’t work in California,” lamented the hysterically reefer-phobic Sen. Martin Golden (R-Brooklyn). “We believe, I believe personally that it’s a gateway drug and it will open up for more usage of marijuana amongst kids, and lead to further drug use across our state,” Golden said, in an apparent (and if so, successful) attempt to construct an elaborate sentence containing absolutely no trace of intelligent thought.
The New York bill would limit marijuana to seriously ill patients, and sadly, like New Jersey’s badly flawed law, would permit no home-growing of weed by patients.
The law would put the New York Health Department in charge of the state’s medical marijuana program. Licensed growers and distributors would generate an estimated $15 million a year for the state (oh, now I understand why they won’t let patients grow at home!), according to the bill’s sponsors, who said it’s time has come.
“The New York law would be the most restrictive of any medical marijuana law in the country,” said Assemblyman Richard Gottfried (D-Manhattan).
According to medical marijuana advocate Jim Miller, New York could benefit from New Jersey’s legislative experience. “How dare we ask sick and dying people to come and beg their legislators for relief they know could be had?” he said.