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Author: Subject: Medical Marijuana Bill Sparking Debate in NY Legislature

Universal Peach





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  posted on 6/22/2010 at 08:15 AM
Medical marijuana bill sparking debate in NY legislature

By Cara Matthews •Albany Bureau • June 21, 2010, 6:55 pm

ALBANY -- Legalizing marijuana for medical use, which would produce millions of dollars in revenue for New York, continues to be part of negotiations on the state budget, which is now more than 80 days late, officials said Monday.

"To me the reason for enacting it is treating patients with serious conditions fairly, but the revenue is certainly a reason to make it part of the budget. So, all of those issues are very much up in the air," said Assembly Health Committee Chairman Richard Gottfried, D-Manhattan, who is sponsoring the bill.

Travis Proulx, a spokesman for Senate Democratic Leader John Sampson, D-Manhattan, said Monday evening that the Senate and Assembly had reached an agreement to include medical marijuana as part of the budget.

But Assembly officials said no deal had been reached.

Fourteen other states have authorized medical use of marijuana for patients with serious, debilitating or life-threatening medical conditions like HIV/AIDS, cancer, multiple sclerosis and glaucoma. It has been found to relieve nausea, chronic pain and muscle spasms and increase appetite.

If legislation is passed in New York, the state would have the "most narrow and restrictive of any law in the country," Gottfried said.

Proposals to legalize marijuana for medical use have been in the Legislature for more than a dozen years. Last year, when Democrats took control of the Senate, was the first time both houses had identical bills and medical marijuana was thought to have a chance of passing. The Assembly approved a bill in 2007 and 2008. But neither house passed a bill last year.

The legislation is on the Assembly calendar and could be voted on as a stand-alone bill, Gottfried said. It is still in committee in the Senate, which has never passed a medical-marijuana bill.

The Senate included the legalization of marijuana in its budget resolution several months ago. The bill could make its way to the floor or become part of the state budget, said Senate Health Committee Chairman Thomas Duane, D-Manhattan, who is sponsoring the bill. Medical marijuana should be available to people who really need to alleviate their suffering when nothing else has helped, he said.

"Both are still possibilities and it's possible that neither will happen," Duane said. "This is Albany after all. Marijuana's a controversial issue."

It's unclear exactly how much the legalization of marijuana would raise. Gottfried said the state would receive money from registration and licensing fees and potentially from taxes on gross receipts on marijuana that hospitals, pharmacies and other entities dispensed.

The Senate has estimated registration and other fees would raise $15 million a year.

Advocates for legalizing marijuana for medical use are holding a news conference Tuesday to urge Paterson to publicly support including a medical-marijuana program in the state budget.

The Pharmacists Society of the State of New York, the state Medical Society and the state Nurses Association are some of the groups that have endorsed the proposal, said Vince Marrone, a lobbyist for the Drug Policy Alliance, which also favors legalization of medical marijuana.

"I'm optimistic that the bill is going to pass one way or the other before the end of session because I think the Legislature has recognized that this is a bill that's good for patients and the public strongly supports it," he said.

Opponents of legalizing marijuana for medical use think it could increase drug abuse and crime.

The legislation would allow certified patients with state Health Department-issued registry identification cards to possess up to 2.5 ounces of marijuana. The marijuana could not be smoked in public places.

The Health Department would register organizations to acquire, possess, manufacture, sell, deliver, transport and distribute marijuana for certified medical use.

Designated caregivers would be allowed to have up to 2.5 ounces per patient for up to five people.

The legislation would not require public or private health plans to cover medical marijuana.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration in 1986 approved THC, the active ingredient in marijuana, for use in synthetic pill form, but it has been found to be more effective in its natural form.

A Quinnipiac University poll in February found that 71 percent of New York voters think medical marijuana is a good idea and 25 percent said no. Voters between 45 and 64 are most strongly behind the idea, but there is support from all political, racial and regional groups.
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Extreme Peach



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  posted on 6/22/2010 at 09:12 AM
Nice title... sparking...

Legalize it. It's just norml.

 

Universal Peach



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  posted on 6/22/2010 at 09:50 AM
quote:
Nice title... sparking...

Legalize it. It's just norml.


This article is promising, but we're talking about Albany, NY. The most dis-functional legislature in the country. It makes complete sense to pass this legislation (a large majority of New Yorkers support it, and the state needs the revenue) which is why our politicians will manage to screw it up completely.

 

Extreme Peach



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  posted on 6/22/2010 at 10:08 AM
That's depressing, but at least it's being talked about.
 

Universal Peach



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  posted on 6/22/2010 at 10:13 AM
quote:
That's depressing, but at least it's being talked about.


As noted in the article, its been discussed for nearly a decade. But that's typical of New York state politics. If Governor Patterson supports it, he may be able to get it implemented via the weekly spending bills he's utilized the past several weeks to keep our state government functioning. Our budget is long overdue and he's found a unique way to insert his agenda issues into these weekly extensions that are essential to keeping the gov't funded. I'm hoping he'll do the same with this issue. Otherwise the legislature will no doubt drop the ball once again on an issue that should have been settled years ago.

 

Zen Peach



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  posted on 6/22/2010 at 07:47 PM
I want to start growing legally.

These idiots will surely find a way to f@ck it up.

 

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Universal Peach



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  posted on 6/23/2010 at 10:20 AM
quote:
I want to start growing legally.

These idiots will surely find a way to f@ck it up.


Since you're a New Yorker, PhotoRonm, I assume you'd support my idea of allowing individuals at least 21 years of age to purchase a permit to grow a maximum amount of cannibis plants per year (say 20). Charge about the same amount for a Sportsman's hunting license and watch how much revenue the state would generate. Of course this makes some sense which is why it probably won't ever happen.

 

Zen Peach



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  posted on 6/23/2010 at 10:28 AM
Good Lord, Chain. 20 plants? That should keep you buzzing for awhile.

I hope they do pass something for y'all, though. It is a fun plant to grow when you don't have to worry about getting busted.

 

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Universal Peach



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  posted on 6/23/2010 at 10:56 AM
quote:
Good Lord, Chain. 20 plants? That should keep you buzzing for awhile.

I hope they do pass something for y'all, though. It is a fun plant to grow when you don't have to worry about getting busted.


Okay, Santa, let's say a maximum of twelve nice bushy females.

 

Zen Peach



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  posted on 6/23/2010 at 11:02 AM
That's how many I have in my garden right now, an even dozen.

Four of them could be male or female, though, as they were grown from seed. I'm hoping for four girls, but we'll see. They are Northern Lights X Snow Cap. The rest are all females for sure. 4 Blue Willy Dog, 2 L. A. Woman, 1 Endless Sky, and 1 OG Kush. I still want one more plant. I want a Jack Herrer, and I'm on the lookout for one. I'd like to have at least one Jack Herrer in each grow, as a memorial to one of the hemp heroes. Mine is an outdoor grow, and these babies are getting big.

 

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Universal Peach



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  posted on 6/23/2010 at 11:10 AM
Damn, Santa.....That's an impressive mix there. What are they Sativa, Indica, hybrids of both? I'm seriously curious about those strains. I would tell you about my garden but I only have various lettuces, herbs, tomatoes, cucumbers, horseradish, etc. (wink, wink)......
 

Zen Peach



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  posted on 6/23/2010 at 11:24 AM
Someone who might be related to me is a week or two away from harvesting some plants that may have started their life really close by.

Heh heh.

 

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Zen Peach



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  posted on 6/23/2010 at 11:25 AM
quote:
Damn, Santa.....That's an impressive mix there. What are they Sativa, Indica, hybrids of both? I'm seriously curious about those strains. I would tell you about my garden but I only have various lettuces, herbs, tomatoes, cucumbers, horseradish, etc. (wink, wink)......


I think they are mostly all indicas, but who knows about strains? All I know about the "Blue Willy Dog" is that it has some Blueberry in it, which is what I was looking for. I've grown Snow Cap before, and love the massive microphone shaped colas. My friend gave another friend a bunch of SC babies last year, with hopes of getting a bunch of nice bud in return. What he got instead was six ounces of buds that had been seeded by a male Northern Lights. He had literally hundreds of babies for sale for $5 each. I took a gamble and bought four, picked randomly from a table with probably a hundred plants on it. I pinched the top out of three of them, and just let one grow. It is long and lanky, about 4 feet tall now. The others are bushy and much smaller. I think that one might be a male. Just a hunch.

I don't know anything about the Endless Sky. I friend was going to give me four plants, and when he showed up he had six. He threw in the ES "just because they are doing so well this year," and the OG Kush because he had so many. I'll talk to him more about them as the season progresses. They are all doing very well, dark green and bushy. I've got a guy coming today or tomorrow to take two small oak tress to let more morning light on them.

I would like to hear about your garden, and maybe soon we will be able to talk about it.

 

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Universal Peach



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  posted on 6/23/2010 at 11:42 AM
"I would like to hear about your garden, and maybe soon we will be able to talk about it."

Again, given we're talking NY politics, I'm skeptical anything will come of this long overdue medical marijuana legislation. I hate to be so cynical but I've learned from years of observation just how completely wacky our political process in Albany really is.


 

Universal Peach



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  posted on 6/23/2010 at 11:47 AM
quote:
Someone who might be related to me is a week or two away from harvesting some plants that may have started their life really close by.

Heh heh.


Really? Already, Ron? Wow! A certain someone I know usually has to wait until early to mid October to harvest. But he's very careful to watch and monitor the triches on his plants in order to harvest at a point which ideally gives him a nice body and mind buzz along with a delayed case of the munchies. Is your friend as particular as mine? Also, does your friend take the time to dry and cure his product to enhance the taste and buzz quality? Just curious....

 

Zen Peach



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  posted on 6/23/2010 at 11:56 AM
Speaking of curing, when I went to New Orleans, I left two quart jars nearly full of Snow Cap and another variety in my storage building in CA. I had cured it following a recipe someone gave me. It was something like one day with the lid on, one day off. Two days on, one day off. Three days on, one day off, right up to seven days on, one day off, then close em up for good. It was something like that. Well, I wound up being in New Orleans for 18 months. I thought a lot about those jars while I was there, especially after I ran out of what I took with me. I figured it was moldy, or all dried out, or maybe, just maybe, it was still OK. As you can imagine, one of the first things I did ( OK, the first) when I got back here was check those jars. to my delight, they smelled better than when I left them there. The curing I had done had worked well, and they continued to cure for a year and a half.

 

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Zen Peach



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  posted on 6/23/2010 at 11:57 AM
quote:
Someone who might be related to me is a week or two away from harvesting some plants that may have started their life really close by.

Heh heh.


 

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Universal Peach



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  posted on 6/23/2010 at 12:14 PM
I've been told the curing process is nearly as important as any other step in growing quality stuff. Again, so Ive been told.

That's an interesting process you described, Santa. My buddy just takes the tops off his mason jars a couple times per day for fifteen, twenty minutes at a pop. He also leaves plenty of room at the top of the jar to let everything breathe and be able to move the product around in order to get air throughout the contents. He does this for about 4 weeks and then screws the lid tight and puts them in the freezer. He has some stuff that's over three years old and still tasting mighty fine whenever he breaks some out. Curing really is very important. Or so I've been told......

 

Zen Peach



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  posted on 6/23/2010 at 12:19 PM
quote:
I've been told the curing process is nearly as important as any other step in growing quality stuff. Again, so Ive been told.

That's an interesting process you described, Santa. My buddy just takes the tops off his mason jars a couple times per day for fifteen, twenty minutes at a pop. He also leaves plenty of room at the top of the jar to let everything breathe and be able to move the product around in order to get air throughout the contents. He does this for about 4 weeks and then screws the lid tight and puts them in the freezer. He has some stuff that's over three years old and still tasting mighty fine whenever he breaks some out. Curing really is very important. Or so I've been told......


Right on. This was just one guys process. I think I still have it wrote down some where. Sounds like your buddy's system works well, too. I've honestly never heard of putting it in the freezer. No loss in quality?

I agree about the curing, and that's one thing you don't get with the commercial quality weed.

 

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Universal Peach



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  posted on 6/23/2010 at 12:28 PM
I was told about the freezer thing from a buddy several years ago. You can keep your product for several years in a freezer. Just make sure there's no mold anywhere in your jars before you put it in there. If you've got a small freezer somewhere, it also makes for a nice secure place to store a good seasons grow. Pull a bit out whenever you need to resupply your smoke room humidor, and you can keep it for years. As I said, my buddy has some stuff he grew three summers ago and it's still as nice and as the day he put it in there. In fact when he gets some out of the freezer and lets it come to room temperature before using, it smells the whole house up it's so fresh and skunky. But it's very good stuff, grown with a lot of love. I think it's a strain known as "bubble gum" or maybe "Blueberry." Definitely some sativa in it as it's very purple in color with very little green in the buds.
 

Zen Peach



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  posted on 6/23/2010 at 01:32 PM
I'll have to give that a try. It makes sense.

I like the purples. Was the originally blueberry a sativa?

 

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Universal Peach



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  posted on 6/23/2010 at 01:37 PM
I think it was a sativa. I'm not completely sure, but I did view the plant before and after he harvested it. Lots of purple leaves and the buzz seems consistent with everything I know about sativas. I mention those names because he gave me some buds from plants he referred to as "bubble gum." And I've also read about a strain know as "Blue Berry" which seems very similar. But again, I'm not certain about any of this. Except that it's good stuff whatever the hell it is.
 

Zen Peach



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  posted on 6/23/2010 at 01:42 PM
The blueberry cross i grew in 2006 was much more of an indica, low and bushy, but it was crossed with indicas. The ones I have now are growing the same way, with very wide leaves. It's interesting how much some of them smell, taste, and look like berries. I'm looking forward to seeing how this turns out.

 

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Zen Peach



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  posted on 6/23/2010 at 01:42 PM
quote:
I was told about the freezer thing from a buddy several years ago. You can keep your product for several years in a freezer. Just make sure there's no mold anywhere in your jars before you put it in there. If you've got a small freezer somewhere, it also makes for a nice secure place to store a good seasons grow. Pull a bit out whenever you need to resupply your smoke room humidor, and you can keep it for years.


Yep. Spot on and straight up right. Add a seal-a-meal to the mix and you are heading in the right direction.

[Edited on 6/23/2010 by DerekFromCincinnati]

 

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Universal Peach



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  posted on 6/23/2010 at 01:57 PM
I thought of the seal a meal thing but I prefer glass jars as the plastic wrap can taint the flavor of the bud over time (think of the taste of bottled water that's been sitting in its plastic container for too long). Glass is more pure in my opinion and won't leach into the bud. Just my opinion, however. If I was a serious grower for profit and would be selling it for money, I'd definitely do the seal thing.
 
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