Medical Marijuana Option Gets N.Y. Senate Push
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Medical Marijuana Option Gets N.Y. Senate Push
Posted by CN Staff on March 24, 2010 at 05:09:20 PT
By Cara Matthews, Gannett News Service
Source: Press & Sun Bulletin
Albany, N.Y. -- The Senate is making a renewed push to legalize medical marijuana in New York, hoping to make it the 16th state to legalize the drug for patients with serious, debilitating or life-threatening illnesses.The Assembly passed a medical-marijuana bill twice in recent years, but the Senate did not. Legislation that would legalize its use passed a key Senate committee Tuesday, and the same bill is making its way through the Assembly committee process.
"This bill is about compassion for people who have horrible cancer, HIV/AIDS, Crohn's disease.... This really is for desperate people," Assembly Health Committee Chairman Tom Duane, D-Manhattan, said before the bill was reported out of the Senate Codes Committee Tuesday by a vote of 11-5.At the same time, the Senate included the legalization of marijuana for medical purposes in its budget resolution Monday. The Senate estimates that basic processing and administrative fees would bring in about $15 million in the 2010-11 budget year, which begins April 1.If a tax were placed on medical marijuana, that could raise up to $500 million a year, according to Senate estimates.But Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, D-Manhattan, said Tuesday he didn't expect medical-marijuana legislation to be part of the 2010-11 budget."I don't believe we're going to have it in," he said. "We passed a bill as a standalone in the past, so I didn't look at it as a revenue raiser, per se."Gov. David Paterson is waiting for more details on the budget proposal before commenting on the issue, spokesman Morgan Hook said.Under the legislative bill, a licensed practitioner would certify that a patient has a serious condition that should be treated with marijuana. Patients would register with the state Health Department and obtain the drug through licensed dispensaries. Patients could not possess more than 2.5 ounces of it at any time. Restrictive Bill Cited  Assembly Health Committee Chairman Richard Gottfried, D-Manhattan, said New York's law would be the most restrictive in the nation, both in terms of the conditions for which a physician could certify its use and who could produce and sell it.Gottfried, who first introduced legislation to legalize medical use of marijuana in 1997, said at news conference held by pro-medical marijuana group New York Patients First that it has taken a long time for public support to build and even longer for lawmakers to "catch up with the public."A Quinnipiac University poll in February found that 71 percent of New York voters support legalizing medical marijuana. Fifty percent of voters polled by the Siena Research Institute last week supported marijuana for medical use.There was doubt that the state could license dispensaries until about a year ago, when the Obama administration said it would not interfere with state laws on medical marijuana, Gottfried said."There are thousands of New Yorkers who have a serious condition whose life could be made better, more comfortable, healthier, longer by the medical use of marijuana," he said.California was the first state to legalize the medical use of marijuana 14 years ago. Since then, 14 other states have passed similar laws, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.Sen. Dale Volker, R-DePew, Erie County, said during Tuesday's Codes Committee meeting that he opposed the bill because it would cause the illegal use of marijuana to spread. He said pot is more dangerous than people realize and is an "access" drug for heroin and other illegal drugs.Sen. Martin Golden, R-Brooklyn, said he doesn't want people to suffer, but there should be more safeguards in the bill.Leba London, a nurse from Swan Lake, Sullivan County, said at the New York Patients First event that she doesn't think lawmakers would have the same opinion if they had a friend or family member whose pain could be relieved by marijuana."It's really time for the close-minded senators to take themselves out of the dark ages here and release us from the gallows," she said.Opiates prescribed for pain are good as a short-term solution only, and they can be addictive and cause side effects, London said. The only side effect for marijuana "is living with the fear of going to prison," she said.Source: Press & Sun Bulletin (NY)Author: Cara Matthews, Gannett News ServicePublished: March 23, 2010Copyright: 2010 Press & Sun BulletinWebsite: viewpoints pressconnects.comURL: Medical Marijuana Archives 
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Comment #7 posted by HempWorld on March 24, 2010 at 11:50:45 PT
Today, We Should Hear If Cannabis Is On The
Ballot in California!
Legalize It!
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #6 posted by mydnytmover on March 24, 2010 at 11:19:50 PT
I love reading the comments, Most if not all are positive these days
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #5 posted by Hope on March 24, 2010 at 11:10:11 PT
Mydnytmover Comment 1 
There are some interesting comments on that article.This one touched me.Comment by LJ 
March 19th, 2010 at 2:09 am
"Terminal AIDS patients say they are dying with aids when they donít have MJ but they say the are living with AIDS when the can use it for medicine. Think about that."
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Comment #4 posted by Had Enough on March 24, 2010 at 10:48:19 PT
Money...Itís a Hit...
Instead of doing the reasonable, sane, and justifiable thing to do and just remove all cannabis laws...they do it for the money...Itís still better than nothing...but...these laws should be removed for the plain old reason that they are UN American...not just because of the money...************Pink Floyd - Money - Live 8
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Comment #3 posted by runruff on March 24, 2010 at 10:40:53 PT
Comment #1
I believe that in our collective, cosmic brains, we all know this info.Our brains know alot more than they are telling us!
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #2 posted by Sam Adams on March 24, 2010 at 07:44:59 PT
>>Sen. Dale Volker, R-DePew, Erie County, said during Tuesday's Codes Committee meeting that he opposed the bill because it would cause the illegal use of marijuana to spread. He said pot is more dangerous than people realize and is an "access" drug for heroin and other illegal drugs.Very simple - this guy needs fodder for the prisons in his district. There's nothing else up there, since the Dems and Repubs have sent our manufacturing industry off to 3rd-world dictators. He probably gets a nice manilla envelope of cash from the prison unions every month. He doesn't want ANY moves toward ending cannabis prohibition
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Comment #1 posted by mydnytmover on March 24, 2010 at 06:04:01 PT
Are You Cannabis Deficient?
by The Medicine Hunter 
If the idea of having a marijuana deficiency sounds laughable to you, a growing body of science points at exactly such a possibility. Scientists have known that the active psychoactive compound in marijuana is THC, which is short for tetrahydrocannabinol.In August 1990, researchers reported in the journal Nature the discovery of receptors in the brain that specifically accommodate the cannabinoids in pot. Cannabinoids bind to particular neurological sites in the brain, as though the brain was specifically designed to utilize this plant. Did nature toss cannabinoid receptors into the brain by random chance? Are cannabinoid receptors part of an intelligent design for deriving maximum benefit from cannabis? Is cannabis a divine elixir of sacred communion for which we are ideally suited? Actually, a more sober answer seems likely. When there are receptors in the brain for a particular type of compound, that compound is made in the brain. This is true of many important agents that work to transmit brain messages of all types. So a hunt began to find such a compound.
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