ALBANY, NY — As states continue to work towards reforming marijuana laws, one New York lawmaker has introduced a bill that would prohibit the sale, cultivation, or giving away marijuana for any reason — including the operation of medical marijuana dispensaries that may be authorized by any future law.
Introduced by Senator Greg Ball (R-District 40), Senate Bill 4930, also known as the “Illegal Narcotics Dispensary Ban,” aims to prevent any future medical or recreational marijuana dispensaries that may become authorized from current pending, or future, legislation.
“No person shall sell, dispense, give away, provide or cultivate any quantity of marihuana, regardless of the purpose of such sale, dispensing, provision or cultivation, nor shall any person operate a dispensary of marijuana,” the bill reads.
The filing of the bill comes as a bill that would allow New York residents to use marijuana for medical purposes continues to advance in the New York Assembly.
Unlike Sen. Ball’s anti-marijuana bill, which has no co-sponsors, Assembly Bill 6357, the Compassionate Care Act, has substantial support in the Assembly, with over 60 co-sponsors. An identical companion bill, Senate Bill 4406,was filed in the Senate with over a dozen co-sponsors.
The bills would create a tightly regulated system of medical marijuana supply provided by the very dispensaries that Sen. Ball is trying to prohibit.
Despite nationwide support for marijuana law reform at an all time high, Senator Ball has taken a strong stance against marijuana reform, especially the authorization of medical marijuana in New York.
In April, following a Just Say Now phone bank campaign, Sen. Ball tweeted ”Receiving emails, calls on “Medical” Marijuana…let me be clear: Marijuana is NOT medicine. Period. Next topic…”
Sen. Ball voted against the Marriage Equality Act, which authorized same-sex marriage in 2011, and has expressed strong support for the use of public funds to transport private school students.
According to FollowTheMoney.org, Sen. Ball’s financial contributors include the New York State Correctional Officers’ labor union, the Police Association of Yonkers, the New York State Troopers’ labor union, and the New York State Beer Wholesalers Association. Corporate sponsors include Pepsi Cola Bottling Company, American Express, and Time Warner Cable.
New York residents who wish to contact Sen. Ball can do so here.
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