September 20, 2019: NYSBA Committee on Cannabis Law To Examine Potential Legalization of Adult Recreational Marijuana Use in New York

By Communications Department

September 20, 2019

September 20, 2019: NYSBA Committee on Cannabis Law To Examine Potential Legalization of Adult Recreational Marijuana Use in New York


By Communications Department


Editor's MenuThe New York State Bar Association (NYSBA) Committee on Cannabis Law will examine the potential legalization of adult recreational marijuana in New York and issue a report on its possible impacts, Association President Hank Greenberg announced today.

“Since its inception just two years ago, the Committee on Cannabis Law has developed deep legal expertise on how marijuana is regulated at both the state and national levels,” said Greenberg. “This report will continue NYSBA’s work as one of the key legal resources on this issue for policy makers and lawyers conducting business with companies involved in a quickly-growing industry.”

Under the Compassionate Care Act of 2014, only New Yorkers with prescriptions from qualified medical providers to treat a limited number of ailments may legally use marijuana.

During the last legislative session, state lawmakers proposed various bills that would have legalized adult recreational marijuana use in New York. No such legislation passed, but legislators compromised by decriminalizing marijuana. Possession of up to two ounces or less is now merely a violation.

In the meantime, many states in close proximity to New York, as well as its neighbor to the north, Canada, have already legalized the use of recreational marijuana or are in the process of doing so. The debate in the Empire State is sure to continue, as the sponsors of recreational legalization bills have already pledged to reintroduce them in the 2020-21 session.

“NYSBA’s bylaws provide that reform of the law – in the interests of the public and the legal profession — should be a major activity of the Association,” said Greenberg. “The potential legalization of adult recreational marijuana is an issue that should be thoroughly examined, and we hope to positively contribute to the debate over the merits of such a proposal.”

The report will be issued by NYSBA’s Committee on Cannabis Law in the coming months. The committee is co-chaired by Aleece Burgio (Barclay Damon) and Brian J. Malkin (Arent Fox).

As part of the Committee’s work, it will consider a range of issues, including but not limited to an appropriate tax structure, opt-out provisions for local governments, issues related to medical marijuana, and environmental considerations.

President Greenberg recently spoke with Alan Chartock, host of WAMC’s The Capitol Connection, about the committee’s work. Click here to listen.

About the New York State Bar Association
The New York State Bar Association is the largest voluntary state bar association in the nation. Since 1876, NYSBA has helped shape the development of law, educated and informed the legal profession and the public, and championed the rights of New Yorkers through advocacy and guidance in our communities.


Contact: Christian Nolan

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