Only several hours after Governor Chafee put his signature on decriminalization in Rhode Island, the New York state Assembly approved AB 7347.
The bill, modeled on Rhode Island's law, requires patients to have a physician or licensed prescriber certify their need for marijuana for treatment of a statutorily defined "serious medical condition." Patients must then file their certification with the Department of Health and receive a registration card from the state. Possession would be limited to two and a half ounces.
This marks the third time the Assembly has passed such a measure. In previous years similar legislation has stalled in the Senate. Action is now awaited on AB 7347's companion legislation, Senate Bill 2774.
The bill is supported by: the Medical Society of the State of New York, the New York State Nurses Association, the Hospice and Palliative Care Association of New York State, Statewide Senior Action Council, Gay Men's Health Crisis, the New York AIDS Coalition, the New York State AIDS Institute Advisory Council, the Oncology Nursing Association (New York State chapter), the Association of the Bar of the City of New York, the American Academy of HIV Medicine, and Housing Works. Nationally, medical use of marijuana is supported by the American Public Health Association, the American Bar Association, and the Lymphoma Foundation of America, among others.
Parts of this story are from Erik Altieri report on NORML