The 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
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.
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