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Could New York State Legalize Medical Marijuana?

Category: Legalization | Posted on Fri, July, 29th 2011 by THCFinder
State Senator Diane J. Savino (a Democrat representing Sunset Park, Coney Island, Bensonhurst and part of Staten Island) doesn't want New York to fall behind the Garden State.
 
Now that New Jersey Governor Chris Christie has green-lighted his state’s medical marijuana program—stalled for over a year after it was signed into law by his predecessor—she has co-sponsored medical marijuana legislation in Albany, drawing on her own experience of losing both parents to cancer.
 
We spoke to her over the phone about what medical marijuana in New York would look like, when we should expect a corner Canna-bakery, and whether she'd take a blunt, bong, bowl or brownie.
 
If this legislation passes, will Brooklyn look like Berkeley?
No, I think one of the arguments is that the California model has been still problematic. We don’t need to replicate what’s out in California. Like I said earlier, there are 21 states that have adopted this. We should look at the best practices and adopt them here in New York. This bill that Senator Duane introduced and I’m co-sponsoring, we would have the most conservative medical marijuana program in the country.
 
What does that mean?
The plan that would be designed under this particular bill would have the most restrictions on the distribution, on who would have access to it, how it gets dispensed, how often it gets dispensed. It’s far more restrictive than other states.
 
So you’re planning on restricting the amount of dispensaries? Are you zoning it to particular neighborhoods?
It would be restricted: who gets to manufacture it, how it gets delivered, the transfer of it, and the transportation of it. There would be a very conservative approach to it, much different than California’s.
 
What about who actually writes the prescriptions? Would it be any doctor?
Obviously we wouldn’t want dentists prescribing it. There has to be some connection between the underlying medical condition and the physician who’s prescribing it.
 

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Indiana panel to consider proposal to legalize marijuana

Category: Legalization | Posted on Thu, July, 28th 2011 by THCFinder
Would you like some irony with that baggie of medical marijuana? Well, like it or not, you’re getting some. Medical marijuana has been legal for a decade or so in various U.S. states but it wasn’t until the Ogden memo of 2009 that it really took off.
 
That was the memo from the Department of Justice that states and medical marijuana providers took to mean the feds would stand down and look the other way as long as medical marijuana patients and providers were in clear compliance with state laws.
 
Then somebody at the Department of Justice apparently decided that maybe it wasn’t cool for the feds to look the other way as states began flaunting their defiance of the Controlled Substances Act, and medical marijuana states got a raft of new letters from new DOJ attorneys, culminating in the Cole memo which said that state laws are not a defense when it comes to breaking federal laws.
 
So, on the one hand you have the Department of Justice essentially launching the medical marijuana boom with a memo that seemed to spell out the fact that the nation’s top law enforcement agency would respect state law and pretty much stay out of medical marijuana. Then, on the other hand you have that same agency saying “Now, wait a minute, that’s not what we meant at all.”
 
“It is very disappointing that the Obama Administration has backed off significantly from what they promised. (Attorney General Eric) Holder was very clear earlier that the Ogden memo applied to entities such as dispensaries and not just to patients,” said Karen O’Keefe, director of state policy for the Marijuana Policy Project, in Washington, D.C.
 

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Marijuana legalization may be on Calif. ballot again

Category: Legalization | Posted on Thu, July, 28th 2011 by THCFinder
ACRAMENTO, Calif. (BP)--Marijuana supporters in California began their next attempt at legalizing recreational use of the drug July 25, when the secretary of state's office approved the circulation of ballot petitions for their proposition.
 
Advocates for recreational marijuana must gather 504,760 signatures by Dec. 19 for the initiative to appear on either the June or November ballots next year.
 
The new movement supported by Steve Kubby, a medical marijuana activist, differs from California's Proposition 19 -- the previous effort to legalize recreational marijuana that failed to pass in the 2010 midterm elections.
 
This new push to legalize marijuana contends that people who grow the plant should be treated like vintners and microbrewers, who are not taxed if they do keep the product for themselves. Under the upcoming proposition those who sell marijuana would be regulated by the state Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control, the Associated Press reported.
 
Kubby said in the AP report that next year's presidential election provides a better chance for the proposition because it pulls in a broader group of voters as opposed to midterm elections where conservatives are more likely to vote.
 
Proposition 19 was defeated, 54-46 percent, and liberal and conservative politicians alike joined in rejecting the measure. If Proposition 19 had passed it would have made California the first state to legalize smoking pot recreationally.
 

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Fox news poll on legalizing Marijuana

Category: Legalization | Posted on Mon, July, 25th 2011 by THCFinder

Time to legalize it!


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Sen. Savino Seeks Medical Marijuana Law In New York

Category: Legalization | Posted on Fri, July, 22nd 2011 by THCFinder
BAY RIDGE — State Senator Diane J. Savino, (D-Staten Island/ Bay Ridge), recently praised New Jersey Governor Chris Christie’s decision to implement his state’s medical marijuana program and urged New York to follow the lead of its cross-Hudson neighbor.
 
“Anyone who has watched a loved one struggle with a debilitating illness would do almost anything to help alleviate their pain,” Savino said. “New Jersey showed real compassion for Garden State residents who are suffering from cancer, multiple sclerosis and other life-threatening diseases. We need to follow this example and pass legislation to allow doctors to prescribe medical marijuana when no other option is available.”
 
She has written to Gov. Andrew Cuomo, asking for his support of this cause.
 
Studies have shown that marijuana can mitigate pain, nausea, and other symptoms in some patients who are unresponsive to other medication. Senator Savino said her late parents, who both were unable to be treated for chronic pain during their battles with cancer, were among those who would have been helped.
 
Savino is a co-sponsor of legislation, (S.2774 Duane/ A.7347 Gottfried), that would legalize medical marijuana in New York. The measure would give seriously ill patients the ability to purchase the drug through a registered dispensing facility with a physician’s approval. The program would be tightly controlled with patients having to register with the state Health Department, and be permitted to have no more than 2.5 ounces at a time.
 
The New Jersey law was signed by Christie’s predecessor, Jon Corzine, shortly before leaving office in January 2010. It became the 16th state to legalize medical marijuana.
 

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Savino: If NJ Can Go To Pot, Why Not NY

Category: Legalization | Posted on Wed, July, 20th 2011 by THCFinder
State Sen. Diane Savino today called on New York to follow New Jersey's lead and legalize medical marijuana.
 
Savino sent a letter to Gov. Cuomo urging action after New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie said his state would move forward with it's medical marijuana program.
 
“Anyone who has watched a loved one struggle with a debilitating illness would do almost anything to help alleviate their pain,” Savino said. “New Jersey showed real compassion for Garden State residents who are suffering from cancer, multiple sclerosis and other life-threatening diseases. We need to follow this example and pass legislation to allow doctors to prescribe medical marijuana when no other option is available.”
 
In her letter to Cuomo dated today, Savino notes that New Jersey becomes the 21st state, in addition to Washington, D.C., to allow doctors to prescribe pot for medicinal purposes.
 
"As someone who has lost both parents to cancer, I know first-hand what it is like to see a loved one in pain and not be able to do anything about it," the Staten Island Democrat wrote.
 
She says the bill she is co-sponsoring with Sen. Thomas Duane (D-Manhattan) and Assembly Health Committee Chairman Richard Gottfried (D-Manhattan) would allow eligible patients to purchase pot through a "registered dispensing facility" with doctor approval.
 
Patients, she said, would be required to register with the state Health Department and be limited to having just 2.5 ounces of pot at a time.
 
"I urge you to lend your support and leadership to this legislation, and give doctors one more tool to manage pain and alleviate suffering for thousands of New Yorkers," Savino wrote to Cuomo.
 
But the bill's chances remain slim at best. Many Senate Republicans, who control the chamber,
have oppose the idea as does Cuomo himself.
 
"The dangers of medical marijuana outweigh the benefits," Cuomo said during the campaign. "I don't think the bill passes."
 

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