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New York still lacks medical marijuana law

Eighteen states and the District of Columbia have now adopted laws to allow medical marijuana. One of the most recent states to do so was one of New York’s neighbors, Connecticut.

Will New York follow suit anytime soon? Regardless of the answer, authorities’ approach to low-level drug possession cases is certainly in need of review. After all, law enforcement officials in New York and other states have arrested thousands of people for nonviolent drug possession offenses in recent years.

In cases of marijuana possession, that type of enforcement is increasingly at odds with changing attitudes toward the drug. It isn’t only that so many states now allow pot for therapeutic purposes, so long as someone has a recognized medical condition. Two states – Colorado and Washington – have legalized marijuana for recreational use.

In New York, advocates for medical marijuanare becoming more vocal. In the past, propels to allow medical marijuana in New York have met with a mixed reception at the state legislature. The Assembly has supported such proposals, but the State Senate has not yet allowed them to come to a vote.

The issue is not going away, however, despite the past setbacks. Many people who suffer from serious medical conditions that could be alleviated by medical marijuanare hoping the legislature decides to let New York join Connecticut and the other states that have legalized pot for pain relief and other therapeutic uses.

To be sure, once a state passes a medical marijuana law, there are plenty of implementation issues. Guidelines about what medical conditions are covered, for example, must be ironed out. The role of doctors in prescribing medical marijuana must also be clarified. These are only two examples. But other states have faced them squarely, and New York could too.

Source: “Advocates renew call for Medical Marijuana in New York,” wnyt.com, Bill Lambdin, 1-25-13

Important Information

COVID-19 (Novel Corona Virus)  Update 3-20-2020

By order of Governor Andrew Cuomo, beginning 3-22-2020, all non-essential business in New York state must close their physical offices in response to the rapid rate of positive reported cases of COVID-19 in New York State.

Although this will impact the in office and in person services that LIT can provide, we will still be working remotely from our homes to serve our existing clients and we will continue to serve the public on a remote basis with any new legal matters for which they may need assistance.

We as a nation have overcome great obstacles in the past and although the challenges that lie ahead of us as community, as a state, and as a nation are great, we will overcome them as our resilience as individuals, as a community and as a nation will allow us to prevail.

May all of you and your loved ones be safe and well .

Larkin, Ingrassia & Tepermayster, LLP

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