Community Groups and Elected Officials Come Together to Sponsor Forum on New York’s Medical Marijuana Program

Press Release February 1, 2015
Media Contact

<p>Contact:&nbsp; John Hellman, [email protected] or (646) 377-6115</p>

New York – Tuesday, February 3rd, patients, community members, providers and elected officials will join together to discuss New York’s medical marijuana law and provide community feedback on the State’s recently introduced draft regulations that will shape New York’s medical marijuana program. The event is being held at Hostos Community College in the Bronx, the poorest county in the state, where providers have raised significant concerns that the medical marijuana program could leave low income communities behind. The event is free and open to the public.

The event is being hosted by BOOM!Health, VOCAL New York, Drug Policy Alliance, and Compassionate Care NY, along with other community organizations and elected officials. The forum will educate the community on the draft regulations released in December and provide a space for the community to discuss what is needed to improve the system to ensure any qualified patient – regardless of ability to pay – can access medical marijuana services.

What:  A community forum to discuss New York’s medical marijuana program

When:  Tuesday, February 3, 2015, 1:00 pm – 5:00 pm

Where:  Hostos Community College C Building, 450 Grand Concourse, Bronx NY 10451

Who:  BOOM!Health, VOCAL-NY, Drug Policy Alliance, Compassionate Care NY, along with co-sponsors House Representative Joe Crowley, NYS Senator Diane Savino, Assemblymember Richard Gottfried, Councilmember Corey Johnson, and Councilmember Mark Levine, and in collaboration with the Latino Commission on AIDS, Hispanic Health Network, The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender Community Center, GMHC, Bailey House, Turning Point, PRAXIS Housing Initiatives, St Ann’s Corner of Harm Reduction, Exponents, Ali Forney center, Future Executives, Inc., Empire State NORML, Washington Heights Corner Project, Queerocracy, Iris House, Center for Optimal Living, Veterans for Peace New York City Chapter 34, Veterans for Peace Saratoga Chapter 127, and more.

For years, communities from across the state fought hard alongside allied organizations and thousands of patients, health care providers and families to win safe and legal access to medical marijuana in New York. They celebrated a huge victory last June when the legislative session was extended to pass the Compassionate Care Act with a message of necessity from Governor Cuomo and overwhelming bipartisan support in both houses of the State Legislature.

The bill was signed into law in July, and in December, the Department of Health published draft regulations for the sale, production, and distribution of medical marijuana in New York State. Public comments on the regulations must be submitted by February 14th. The forum will provide a critical opportunity for the public to weigh in on the draft regulations and their vision for medical marijuana in New York.

A young woman holds a sign that says "End the Drug War."

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