When Will Marijuana be Legal in NY?

When Will Marijuana be Legal in NY

As of now, 33 states have legalized medical marijuana including New York, and 12 states have legalized recreational marijuana. These are exciting times for canna enthusiasts as cannabis is finally getting the accolade it deserves. And rightly so. Medical marijuana provides amazing medicinal benefits and has proven to help people with conditions and their symptoms like chronic pain, depression, epilepsy, nausea, lack of appetite, insomnia, stress, anxiety, etc.

The beauty of cannabis is that you get to choose the strain you want. There are thousands of cannabis strains that you can get; each having their unique aroma, flavor, and effects. Also, you get to choose the method of consumption. You can smoke, vape, eat, or even apply it. But some of these methods are not legal in New York. We will get to that later on. The state is actually known for having one of the strictest cannabis programs in the country. Let’s take a look why.

Are you a New Yorker wondering when will marijuana be legal in NY?

When Will Marijuana be Legal in NY

Medical Marijuana

In 2014, medical marijuana was legalized in the state of New York. Although people tend to stay distant because of the process being inconvenient, time-consuming, and expensive. But all that changed when telemedicine entered the fray. The process became easier, inexpensive, and convenient.

To access medical marijuana in New York, first, you need to check if your condition qualifies for the New York state medical marijuana program. As per the Assembly Bill, a person diagnosed with a severe condition like Multiple Sclerosis, Cancer, Chronic Pain, Parkinson’s Disease, HIV/AIDS, Inflammatory bowel disease, ALS, Spinal cord nerve injury with intractable spasticity, PTSD, Neuropathy, Opioid alternative for pain, Epilepsy, Huntington’s Disease and Substance use disorder is awarded legal protection by the state of New York.

These 14 conditions qualify for a medical marijuana recommendation in the state. Also, the person must have certain symptoms accompanying any one of the conditions mentioned above. These include nausea, cachexia, chronic pain, PTSD, seizures, opioid use disorder, and muscle spasms.

Now, to get access to medical marijuana in New York, you must also qualify the residency criteria of the state. Here, you must demonstrate ID proof for residency in the state through a New York State Driver’s license or a New York State non-driver ID card.

If you meet this criterion then all left to do is to get yourself a medical recommendation to get legal access to the herb. To get that, you must seek a licensed medical professional registered with the New York State Department of Health’s Medical Marijuana Program. Telemedicine has made this process quite easy with you not having to even step outside your house.

Fill an online application and you will be connected to our doctor. He will do your 420 evaluation and if he feels you qualify for the medical marijuana program, you will receive a recommendation through email within minutes. After receiving this certification, you’ll need to register with the New York Department of Health to be a valid medical marijuana patient. The certified patients can name up to two caregivers, and those who can’t give consent, including children must name at least one caregiver.

Congratulations! Now you can access quality medical marijuana strains to manage your condition.

Although, you would want to control your excitement and keep the expectations not too high otherwise you may end up feeling disappointed. When we think about cannabis, we often associate it with smoking. But actually, there are other ways to consume the herb.

You can apply, spray, vape, and even take it as a capsule. And that is where the reality of medical cannabis in New York sets in. Medical marijuana is legal in New York, but it is available only in smoke-free and non-food product forms. Yes, you cannot smoke it in New York, but there is a silver lining to it; By doing this, the state wants to ensure the safest delivery methods for the patients like capsules, oral sprays, oils, and vaporization.

Recreational Marijuana

Now, that we have established that medical marijuana is legal in the state, let’s talk about recreational marijuana. In August 2019, the long-overdue legislation decriminalizing marijuana in New York came into effect. It increased the amount of marijuana you can possess without getting booked with a criminal charge. So, now if you have 2 ounces of marijuana on you, it is considered as a violation and not a crime. Before, if you were only caught with an ounce of marijuana, the fine was $100, but now that has also been lowered to $50.

Also, cannabis was added to the definition of smoking in the Public Health Law, which essentially means that one cannot smoke marijuana where smoking tobacco is prohibited. So, next time if you decide to light one in a public place, you would likely get a citation but won’t be charged with a criminal offense that may go into your record permanently. This changes the marijuana paradigm of the state for the better.

This should have been good news but it came as a disappointment as people were expecting the legalization of recreational marijuana. As many touted it to be a big setback some people believed it to be just a delay. “It will be legalized. If not today. Then tomorrow. This is not the end just a delay” said Xin Ming Fu, a medical marijuana doctor in a statement.

So, let’s consider this decriminalization as a silver lining and hope that in near future recreational marijuana could also be legalized. So, I may not be able to point my finger at the answer to the question “When will marijuana be legal in NY,” but I can assure you that legalization of marijuana is peeking through the horizon.

New York Weed Legalization – Everything You Need to Know

New York Weed Legalization

If you are about to get a medical marijuana card, it is imperative that we go through the New York weed legalization laws.

Cannabis has proven to have strong medicinal properties, especially for people suffering from chronic issues. There are two primary ways that marijuana is used. One is the doctor recommended medical use, and the other is a personal choice for recreational purposes.

But the question that must have come to your mind would be beyond just consumption preference are there any more differences between the two?

Well, there are. Today we will go into detail about the differences that exist between the two and what is the one that you can get in New York.

New York Weed Legalization

Medical Marijuana

Traditionally it was the whole cannabis plant with all of its cannabinoids that were propagated as medical cannabis. As research has broadened into this subject, medical marijuana has become a much more concentrated field.

Cannabis functions through a synergy effect brought along by the active chemicals ( THC and CBD) and Terpenes present in the plant.

Medical Marijuana has a higher CBD content; typically, this is not to say that THC isn’t an essential part of medical marijuana. But for people taking it for medicinal purposes, THC can act as a hindrance in their day to day functioning.

Recreational Marijuana

Cannabis used with the purpose of primarily getting high is recreational marijuana. There is absolutely no medical justification behind using cannabis, and this kind holds no other value apart from getting high.

A big misconception is that marijuana is a byproduct of the counter culture of the 60s, that is, however, not the case. It has been around in the traditional fold of medicines for centuries.

Lets now understand the subtle differences that exist between recreational and medical marijuana.

The Shopping Experience

This experience of just shopping itself is more or less the same, but the treatment at both can vary vastly depending on the dispensary.

Both recreational and medical shops have qualified personnel known as the Budtender, who will be able to guide you pick the right strain depending on the effects you are searching for.

In case of medical dispensaries, you have to own a medical marijuana card in New York and a valid id, whereas, in a recreational dispensary, all you need is a valid ID that states that you are of legal age.

Medical dispensaries also, at times, extend the courtesy and provide them with waiting rooms where they can wait and maintain privacy.

If you are a medical patient, it is essential to understand that recreational shops would provide you with cannabis but won’t be able to give you medical advice.

There are, however, a few shops that are dual licensed and would be able to provide you with the requisite cannabis.

When you are going to a dispensary, the relationship that you need to form is no less than what exists between a doctor and his patient. You would never go to a lousy doctor. Similarly, ensure that you try out multiple dispensaries until you find the perfect fit.

State Wise Perks

In the US, there exists a different set of perks that can be enjoyed by medical card holders i.e., users of medical marijuana vs. their recreational counterparts. Some of these perks include

  • Reduced cost of the product
  • A significant tax break
  • Allowance to carry larger quantities
  • Minors allowed to use in some instances (e.g., epilepsy)
  • Permission to plant a higher plant count

What Are The Uses Of Medical Marijuana?

Because of the ban on federal level research into cannabis is still in its formative years and there are hardly any long term conclusive studies, but there are some initial findings which have been promising,

Another point to note is that medical cannabis is not a treatment of problems, more like a handler of the symptoms.

Here are some of the uses of Medical Marijuana:

  • HIV/AIDS
  • Alzheimer’s
  • Cancer
  • Chronic Pain
  • Epilepsy

HIV/AIDS

A study consisting of 10 people who were HIV positive and smoked cannabis was conducted to come to the conclusion that those who consumed marijuana were sleeping better, eating better, and having fewer mood swings.

A different study also pointed towards a reduction in neuropathic pain.

Alzheimer’s

Cannabis in patients suffering from cannabis acts as an appetite enhancer and calming agent. This helps the patients who display agitated behavior, which is a cause of the problem.

Cancer

There are animal studies that have shown promise in killing specific cancer cells. Some studies have gone as far as saying that it may stop cancer growth completely.

Studies in Mice have shown that with THC, the impact of chemotherapy on the cells improves. It is also a preventer of nausea that accompanies chemotherapy.

Chronic Pain

Here both human, as well as animal studies, have been shown to highlight a substantial analgesic effect. Over centuries this is the one thing for which marijuana has been significantly effective.

Many conditions have chronic pain as their leading symptom, and with cannabis, patients have the ability to alleviate pain and live a relatively healthy life.

Epilepsy

Extracts from medical marijuana have been found to reduce the frequency of certain seizures up to 50% in both adults as well as children.

Beyond these, there is also ongoing research into various other diseases like Glaucoma, schizophrenia and muscle spasms, and a lot more.

Medical Marijuana in New York

In New York, marijuana is highly regulated in New York. In terms of how it can be administered, the only way is vapourization, which has to be administered via inhalers or through oral capsules.

Here are the qualifying conditions which includes:

  • HIV/Aids
  • Cancer
  • Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis
  • MS
  • Parkinsons
  • Glaucoma
  • Spinal cord damage
  • Cachexia
  • Epilepsy
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Lupus
  • Crohn’s disease
  • IBD
  • Huntington’s
  • PTSD
  • Arthritis
  • Neuropathy

Furthermore, there is a restriction on growing cannabis for any purpose, as well.

This, of course, as usual not a very exhaustive list as it is continuously evolving. At this point in time, there are rumors that have hinted towards the legalization of recreational marijuana too, but what is going to happen remains to be seen.