Public Hearings for Marijuana Legalization Start in New York
NEW YORK CITY — September 25, 2018
This week, 'Big Apple' residents can express their stance toward the legalization of marijuana for recreational purposes.
Public hearing across the state began in early September and will be completed by mid-October. According to the organizers, admission to the meetings is free, but pre-registration is welcome. Several such meetings have already taken place across upstate New York.
Governor Andrew Cuomo and state legislators plan to consider the proposal on legalization, regulation of sales, and taxation of cannabis in 2019. The authorities believe public hearings will help them to develop the details of the bill.
Some analysts believe legalizing marijuana will bring in $1.3 billion annually at the state and city levels.
In addition, Cuomo has earlier signed into law a bill allowing medical marijuana to be used as an alternative to opioids for pain management.
Earlier this year, the Department of Health added opioid replacement and opioid-use disorder to the list of conditions that qualify a patient to be prescribed medicinal marijuana in New York. This new law formalizes these previous changes in policy and legitimizes a medical professional's prescription.
According to a press release, medical marijuana can only be prescribed by a medical professional if the pain the patient is experiencing "degrades health and functional capability, with certain other requirements."
The Chair of the Assembly Committee on Alcoholism and Drug Abuse, Linda Rosenthal, said "By adding substance use disorder and pain management to the list of conditions eligible for treatment with medical marijuana, we will be allowing New Yorkers to take advantage of a harm reduction technique that can be used as an alternative to highly addictive opioids."
The state has previously added chronic pain and PTSD to the list of treatable conditions for medical marijuana.
Here's where Listening Sessions will be held in New York this week (from 18 pm to 20 pm)
- Queens — Monday, September 24, 2018 — Jamaica Performing Arts Center — 153-10 Jamaica Avenue, Jamaica, NY 11432 — Main Auditorium/Theater
- Brooklyn — Tuesday, September 25, 2018 — Long Island University Brooklyn Campus — One University Plaza, Brooklyn, NY 11201 — Kumble Theater for the Performing Arts
- Staten Island — Wednesday, September 26 — College of Staten Island, 2800 Victory Blvd., Staten Island, NY 10314 — The Williamson Theatre