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New York: Patients and Families Demand Emergency Access To Medical Marijuiana

NewYork-SupportMedicalMarijuanaIn[MikeGroll-AP]

Abandoned by Cuomo, Families Turn to Legislature to Pass a Bipartisan Bill

Bill Would Create Emergency Access Program to Provide Relief to Critically Ill Patients, including Children with Epilepsy

Patients, family members, and advocates on Tuesday stood with legislators from both sides of the aisle in support of A.7060 (Gottfried) / S.5086 (Griffo), a bill that would direct the state to establish a program to help critically ill patients obtain emergency access to medical marijuana as soon as possible.

The bill, introduced by Assembly Health Committee Chair Richard N. Gottfried and Assembly Minority Leader Brian M. Kolb in the Assembly and Senator Joseph Griffo in the Senate, comes almost exactly a year after the Legislature passed New York’s medical marijuana bill and almost 10 months after the Governor urged the Health Commissioner to do everything in his power to get medical marijuana to children suffering from life-threatening forms of epilepsy.

To date, not one patient has received medical marijuana, and at least four children, who might have benefitted from medical marijuana, have died since the bill was passed.

New York: Officials Ignore Patients; Pursue Unworkable Medical Marijuana Program

NewYorkGovernorAndrewCuomoMad[NYDailyNews]

Advocates Say Final Regulations to Leave Thousands of Patients to Suffer Needlessly

Abandoned by Cuomo Administration, Critically Ill Patients and Families Vow to Return to the Legislature to Fix New York’s Broken Medical Marijuana Program

The New York State Department of Health (DOH) on Tuesday night released the final regulations for New York’s medical marijuana program. The announcement followed a period of public comment in which patients, families, experts, and industry professionals submitted more than a thousand letters and emails critiquing the proposed regulations for being too restrictive and unworkable.

In response to this incredible level of input from the public and private industry, the Department of Health made absolutely no substantive changes to the regulations. Instead, they made only handful of technical fixes, such as correcting typos, according to the Drug Policy Alliance (DPA).

Twenty-two other states have passed medical marijuana laws, five jurisdictions have passed laws taxing and regulating marijuana for adult use, and the federal government has made clear that they will not interfere with properly administered state marijuana programs. Despite this, the Cuomo Administration, in its response to the public comments, repeatedly uses federal laws as an excuse for inaction.

New York: Community Groups, Elected Officials Sponsor Forum On Medical Marijuana Program

BOOM!Health(logo)

Tuesday, February 3 Forum Will Address Concerns with Proposed Regulations, Including Access for Low Income Patients

Patients, community members, providers and elected officials will join together on Tuesday, February 3, to discuss New York’s medical marijuana law and provide community feedback on the state’s recently introduced draft regulations that will shape New York’s medical marijuana program.

The event is being held at Hostos Community College in the Bronx, the poorest county in the state, where providers have raised significant concerns that the medical marijuana program could leave low income communities behind. The event is free and open to the public.

The forum is being hosted by BOOM!Health, VOCAL New York, Drug Policy Alliance (DPA), and Compassionate Care NY, along with other community organizations and elected officials. It will educate the community on the draft regulations released in December and provide a space for the community to discuss what is needed to improve the system to ensure any qualified patient -- regardless of ability to pay -- can access medical marijuana services.

What: A community forum to discuss New York’s medical marijuana program

When: Tuesday, February 3, 2015, 1:00 pm – 5:00 pm

Where: Hostos Community College C Building, 450 Grand Concourse, Bronx NY 10451

New York: New Report Shows NYPD Spent 1 Million Hours Making Marijuana Arrests

Photo: The L MagazineBy Steve Elliott
Hemp News

New Report: “One Million Police Hours: Making 440,000 Marijuana Possession Arrests in New York City, 2002-2012”

NYC Has Dubious Distinction of “Marijuana Arrest Capital of the World”; Majority of Those Arrested Are Black and Latino Youth

Report Released As State Black, Puerto Rican, Hispanic and Asian Legislative Caucus Makes Final Push to Pass Marijuana Reform Proposal This Week

A new report released on Tuesday documents the astonishing number of hours the New York Police Department has spent arresting and processing hundreds of thousands of people for low-level misdemeanor marijuana possession arrests during Mayor Bloomberg’s tenure. The report finds that NYPD used approximately one million hours of police officer time to make 440,000 marijuana possession arrests over 11 years.

These, of course, are hours that police officers might have otherwise have spent investigating and solving serious crimes.

The report was prepared by Dr. Harry Levine, Professor of Sociology at Queens College and recognized expert on marijuana possession arrests, at the request of members of the New York City Council and the New York State Legislature.

New York: Minority Caucus Joins Community Groups Calling For Fix To Broken Marijuana Possession Law

New York: Minority Caucus Joins Community Groups Calling For Fix To Broken Marijuana Possession LawBy Steve Elliott
Hemp News

The New York State Black, Puerto Rican, Hispanic, and Asian Legislative Caucus on Tuesday will gather to urge an end to the biased and costly practices of falsely arresting tens of thousands of people in New York for low-level marijuana possession.

They will be joined by dozens of advocates and impacted people from around the state to urge passage of Governor Andrew Cuomo's marijuana decriminalization proposal. The proposal, outlined in his 2013 State of the State Address, would decriminalize possession of up to 15 grams of cannabis in public view, but smoking in public would remain a misdemeanor.

Fixing the law would help end the practice of arresting tens of thousands of young people every year for possessing marijuana in public view -- after police have misleadingly demanded they "empty their pockets" during a stop-and-frisk encounter.

The reform proposal outlined by Gov. Cuomo is supported by dozens of community organizations throughout the state, state legislators, the NYC Council and Mayor Michael Bloomberg. Additionally, the reforms are supported by law enforcement leaders from across the state, including NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelley, all five NYC district attorneys (Democrat and Republican), district attorneys from Long Island, Buffalo and Albany, and police leaders like the Albany sheriff and Rochester police chief.

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