Marijuana is making its way to New York City!
Up until a couple of months ago, this was a question that few people would dare to ask openly. New York City has been one of the strictest cities in the country, with the New York Police Department regularly stopping and frisking people in an attempt to discourage weed use and sale. The city has one of the highest rates of racially biased weed arrests, but with the latest bill passing in the State Assembly, there’s a chance pot will become much more widely available in the Big Apple.
The regulation passed in May 2014 allowed for a “seed to sale” plan, and another passed in early July permitted doctors to prescribe medical marijuana. Of course, medical marijuana isn’t to be prescribed to just anyone, but it is closely regulated and may only be prescribed to patients suffering from one of the diseases included on a list drawn up by the state. Not only that, but the marijuana sold in dispensaries is not in smokable form, but is made in the form of edibles and oils.
New York has become the 23rd state to legalize medical marijuana, and the fact that it has done so points toward the increased decriminalization of the drug. While the state is firmly against recreational use of marijuana, the fact that it has legalized medical marijuana may mean that the strict control over pot will eventually loosen up–to the point where recreational marijuana will become available.
With the legalization of marijuana in so many states–including recreational use in Colorado and Washington–the pressure has been on the rest of the country to keep up with the times. Many residents of the East Coast have considered moving to the West Coast in order to get their hands on the medical marijuana needed to manage diseases like AIDS, epilepsy, cancer, and even PTSD.
READ MORE: Why Marijuana Might Be Healthy
Now, thanks to the fact the medical marijuana has become legal in New York State, people on the East Coast can have hope that many more states will follow suit. After all, if New York–the state with one of the strictest anti-drug policies in the country–can see fit to legalize marijuana in its medical forms, there has to be some benefits to it. Perhaps more and more states will fall in line, until medical marijuana has become decriminalized.
For the first time EVER, the New York Times has run an advertisement featuring marijuana–something that would cause the magazine founders to turn over in their graves. The advertisement promoted Leafly, a smartphone app that allows users to browse through a sort of “Yelp for marijuana” in New York City. Not only can they find local medical marijuana dispensaries, but they can also search through a list of various cannabis products.
Will the streets of New York become the smoky, pot-addled place the strict, Puritanical anti-marijuana proponents fear it will be? Highly doubtful! Marijuana is still not legal for recreational use, and medical marijuana has a VERY low THC content. This means that the marijuana will provide all of the health benefits offered by the cannabinoids–an antioxidant found in marijuana–but without most of the hallucinogenic properties (the result of THC).
For those who worry about the danger of pot smoking on the streets of New York City, it’s unlikely that things will change quickly. Perhaps you will find more dispensaries opening around the city, and Leafly can help you find where to buy medical marijuana in NYC. However, for the near future, marijuana isn’t anything you need to worry about!