As New York’s legislative session draws to a close this week, MPP, New York Patients First, and hundreds of New Yorkers are pushing hard to ensure that medical marijuana is included in this year’s state budget. In March, the Senate passed a resolution calling for medical marijuana to be included in the budget, but New York Gov. David Paterson — who has previously voiced his support for a medical marijuana law — has never come out and said he supports its inclusion. Paterson is demanding the budget pass this week, so he is essentially all that stands in the way of New York becoming the 15th medical marijuana state.
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Since New York’s medical marijuana bill was first introduced in 1997, 13 states have had laws enacted — including neighboring Vermont and New Jersey. The budget is a natural place for the bill because it would raise tens of millions of dollars for the cash-strapped state through modest excise taxes and licensing fees.
Stay tuned for updates.