The People of the State of New York, represented in senate and assembly, enacted an amendment to the public health law, the tax law, the general business law and the penal law, in relation to medical use of marijuana. The legislature finds that thousands of New Yorkers have serious medical conditions that can be improved by the medically-approved use of marijuana.
The law should not stand between doctors, patients and treatments necessary for life and health. This legislation follows the well-established public policy that a controlled substance can have a legitimate medical use. Many controlled substances that are legal for medical use (such as morphine and steroids) are illegal for any other use.
The purposes of article 33 of the public health law include allowing legitimate use of controlled substances in health care, including palliative care. This policy and this legislation do not in any way diminish New York State’s strong public policy and laws against illegal drug use, nor should it be deemed in any manner to advocate, authorize, promote, or legally or socially accept the use of marijuana for children or adults, for any non-medical use.
This legislation is an appropriate exercise of the state’s legislative power to protect the health of its people under Article 17 of the state constitution and the Tenth Amendment of the United States Constitution. It is the legislative intent that this act be implemented consistently with these findings and principles, through a reasonable and workable system with appropriate oversight; strong “seed to sale” regulation to prevent diversion, abuse, and other illegal conduct; reasonable access to and appropriate use of medical marijuana by certified patients; evaluation; and continuing research.