I printed out the Compassionate Care Act, New York’s “medical marijuana” law, to read over the weekend.
Just skimming through it I can see there is a lot of new stuff, suggesting that Cuomo’s people played the timing masterfully – waiting until the last minute to spring counter-legislation they had drafted far ahead of time after refusing to talk to patients for months.
What I have seen so far is really bad; for example, the program will take effect … when the Commission of Health and the Superintendent of the State Police decide it can start.
In the meantime there is no individual right to cultivate and a doctor’s certification by itself provides no affirmative defense to criminal prosecution. This is the New Jersey experience but on a far grander scale (because in New Jersey the statute passed before Christie came in and he could not utterly sabotage it, just delay its implementation.)
It’s going to take a little while before people realize how badly they lost this round.
The significance of this experience is that it is the warm-up round for battle royale on full legalization. We see how Cuomo operates; in a sense he has shown his hand. Passage of the CCA was a valuable lesson in the nature of this fight, nothing more.
As George Martinez says, block by city and city by city. Passing the Marijuana Regulation and Taxation Act is going to be hand-to-hand combat and now we see how Cuomo fights.