“This isn’t California.”: New York’s Stricter Terms Regarding Medical Marijuana

images “This isn’t California.”: New York’s Stricter Terms Regarding Medical Marijuana New York Senator Diane Savino, a Democrat representing Coney Island, has come up with a new method of getting the support necessary to get medical marijuana bills passed in her state. What’s her new strategy? Oddly, it’s one based entirely on reassurance. “We’re not going to be California,” Savino quoted, “what you don’t want is a very loose program, because that’s what invites the feds to come in....The way to avoid that is to have a very tight model.” Savino claims that law makers in New York seem to be viewing the legalization of medical marijuana as a prequel for complete legalization - and maybe they have reason to. Initial bills proposed and passed in the New York Assembly talked of giving marijuana growing rights to hospitals, patients and even caregivers - these kind of reckless bills Savino describes are the opposite to what she and Assemblyman Richard Gottfried, a Democrat representing Manhattan and co-sponsor of the bill, are proposing. “There’s a realistic way to deal with medical marijuana,” says Savino, “one of the things that’s beneficial to New York is we have the experience of several other states that have their own programs...we’ve been able to reject some of the worst practices and embrace some of the best ones, so we have the tightest bill.”   Some interesting points of Savino’s bill? It suggests a marijuana growing system where each plant is tracked and tagged from the time of planting to sale, ensuring legal pot cannot seed into the black market unnoticed. Also, unlike other states, who have wider terms for what are considered marijuana-worthy conditions, a Gottfried spokesman, Mischa Sogut, describes this bill as strict is its definition of what are “severe, debilitating, or life threatening conditions.” Savino’s bill has also addresses some of the financial concerns raised over the course of previous bills, such as the possible increased police force necessary when medical marijuana initially hits the streets. This bill states that a half of the profits gained from growing and dispensing marijuana will go back to local law enforcement, acting to subsidize the cost of anticipated security costs.   The bill will most likely be passed in the Assembly, based on the fact that three other more ill-formed versions of medical marijuana reform have passed in New York  Assembly before, and Savino’s prediction that they will have “38 solid votes.” None of these bills have had the 32 votes necessary to reach the Senate floor, a feat Savino and Gottfried hope will come to pass. Governor Cuomo, despite his recent support of the decriminalization of small possession, has still been a hard sell on the issue, opposing the establishment of a legal marijuana industry in New York. “It doesn’t help us to get the bill past the assembly and the senate, only for it to be killed on the governor’s desk,” quoted Savino, “we’re going to get our ducks in a row.”images 2 “This isn’t California.”: New York’s Stricter Terms Regarding Medical Marijuana

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