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The Call Blog: Fate Of Minimum Wage, Medical Marijuana Uncertain As Albany Session Nears End

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The last-minute Albany rush is nothing new, but it seems like medical marijuana has the best chance of coming out of it compared to all the rest of the measures. I'm sure common ground can be struck so sick New Yorkers can get the relief they need, and minors and others don't misuse the drug.



The State Legislature is expected to adjourn for the summer in just two days, and negotiations are underway to pass several bills in the final hours. The fate of two high-profile bills, one to legalize medical marijuana and another to raise the minimum wage, is unclear. Complicating matters is the fact that Governor Cuomo and members of the State Senate and Assembly are all up for election in the fall.

At a rally today in Albany, hundreds of low-wage employees called on lawmakers to raise the State's minimum wage from $8 to $10.10 an hour. A version of the bill would also give local cities the power to raise the wage as high as $13.13. As of this writing, neither the Assembly nor Senate has scheduled a vote on the issue.

Another bill that faces an uncertain fate is one that would legalize medical marijuana. Governor Cuomo wants the Compassionate Care Act to include a ban on smoking the drug, but advocates argue that's the fastest way to ingest the drug to help with the side effects of chemotherapy treatment. As of this writing, a vote is possible in the next two days.

Do you want to see lawmakers vote on these two bills? Would you vote to legalize marijuana in New York for medicinal purposes? Should Albany raise the minimum wage to $10.10 or $13.13 an hour? Will any of the votes cast by the legislature this year affect your vote in the fall?

Send your thoughts using the link above.



Not only do I agree with the governor, I find it reckless to consider it at a time when drug use is on the rise. Totally absurd.

Roscoe
Park Hill



Yes I agree, the minimum wage should be increased to $10.10 or more since
everything else is going up; Movie Prices, Meat, Produce, even a gallon of Milk
is getting to be more expensive than gas depending on where you live, WTF!

Average wage earners can not keep up with inflation and it is about time that
Corporate America start "Paying the Piper", Let's Raise The Wage For All!

Tony
Albany



Marijauna should be used for medicinal purposes only, i agree with Gov Cuomo to ban the smoking use of it because if the person smokes it around kids that's bad for the child's health. The minimum wage should be rasied to $13.13 a hour because the prices of everything is going up and some people can't afford it espically large families with a lot of kids.

Herman
Upper West Side



Drugs should never have been declared illegal. Minimum wages should never have been legal.

Both for the same reason: they violate individual rights and freedom.
Everyone should have the right to ingest, imbibe and inhale whatever they wish. No one should be forced to pay anyone a wage higher than the employer and the employee mutually agree upon.

Joe
Port Richmond



Minimum wage should be at least 13.00 hour; you can't get a sandwich and soda at the present minimum rates.

As for medical marijuana, it should only be dispensed in pill form. The same drs. who write millions of prescriptions for painkillers will be all too happy to write marijuana scripts; these drs. are just drug dealers. Those of us in apt. bldgs. will have the stench of marijuana stinking up our apartments. It's bad enough that I can't walk down the street without smelling weed. It's disgusting.

And I don't think sick people should be smoking anything.

Kate
Midtown east


I agree with the medical marijuana providing it is not smoked.
The people that are complaining about the minimum wage should consider the
small business owner because they will be hurt by these increases in salaries
and by passing this law for the increase other employees might just have to be terminated. So all it will amount to is that one pays the price for another.
With every demand there is a penalty for someone else to have to pick up the
tab.
The home owners have received their letters this week informing them that they
will get an increase in taxes.
It never ends.
The passing of these bills will influence my vote.

Maxxiee
Morris Park



yes to min wage at least 10.10. no to legalize med marijuana. we have to many people using drugs, especially younger people. nyc council has all but told cops stop arresting users and sellers of weed. drugs should stay illegal.

Herb
Harlem



When I was in high school a lot of minimum wage jobs were worked by teenagers during after school hours. Now people are supporting families off of these jobs. They need a hike in the minimum wage to afford to live in New York, where the cost of living is very expensive.

Ryan
The Bronx



"There are thousands NYers waiting for help..."

--Oh my lands...like people are gonna wait for Cuomo's help before lighting up.

Seems like legislatures didn't have a problem turning recreational use of marajuana into a felony under Bloomberg.
And Cuomo overturned that just recently-that's small amount-possession of marijuana.

It's just hard to believe that 'only' thousands of the millions of NYers are waiting on this bill.

It's still illegal to drive under the influence.

That's not going to change.

And we can count on Senator Schumer to step in, if legalizing it gets out of control.

Ana



At the end of day if we was to legalize marijuana not only would our government be making money to take us out of debt which we rarely talk about but we would also save money from all the arrest that are constantly being made. There's no need to damage a persons record and make them seem like criminals when they're not. Don't just legalized marijuana for medicinal purposes also use it to create paper and other hemp products that can help our environment. Setup designated areas for marijuana use and watch how fast things change not just with our government but within our communities. I use marijuana for recreational and medicinal purposes and I'm far from a criminal. I have worked for city meals on wheels and I currently work for NYU and I hate to see individual just like myself be labeled just because I'm a minority

Jay
Washington Heights



There are 2 parts to this issue that get confused. Medical Marijuana for certain diseases that is LOW in THC (the intoxicating component) and HIGH in the therapeutic part (CBD or Canabadiol) which treats seizures in kids, is usually administered in liquid form. The other debate is focused on end-stage use of marijuana as a pain killer which may involve smoking. Florida just approved low-THC marijuana use for kids.

Felix



I think medical marihuana will stop prosecutors from overtaxing offenders for drug charges.

It will keep our prisons lighter and make better use of our tax dollar.

Nedzad



I feel that marijuana should remain illegal. However, medical use is fine. But, control on medical marijuana will be terrible. The only way to control it would be to only be able to use it at a specified location and not as a prescription that can be taken home.

On the subject of making it legal overall, I think it is more insane. High school students smoke cigarettes. Imagine them being able to smoke marijuana just as easy. Drop out rates will shoot through the skies. In addition to this, crime will also soar. Now, stores that sell marijuana legally are at greater risk of being victims of burglary than if they didn't sell marijuana. These are my thoughts.

Alejandro
Jackson heights



I thought that Gov Cuomo was going to increase the min wage during his State of the State address? If people want employers to pay them more, they have to make more. What happens when people are replaced by computers?

Kevin
Staten Island



I am against legalization of marijuana because how will it be scrutinized to make sure it is only used for medicine..
We have enough potheads walking around in a daze….NOT FOR SMOKING….and yes there are accidents caused by people on pot….
My ex husband almost crashed into another car if I hadn't yelled at him to stop the car in time….I think if it is packaged so you have to
drink it in a pill, not smoked for sick people, then maybe,...It does haze the brain…and make you do stupid things…we have enough morons out there

Millie



The politicians are just a mess. The white haired guy who just said "I know to never say never" is only because he has no opinions or ideas. As usual the citizens are WAY ahead of our elected officials. When will people with integrity ever run for office. There are so many followers and extremely few leaders in this state.

Bill
The Village



Alcohol is the true gateway drug but is used recreationally and so is marijuana. Legalize and tax it.

Sal
Dongan Hills



We have enough brain dead people walking around the city. We don't need an army of pot heads adding to the cellphone, iPad zombies. The excuses i hear are like bum-holes. Everyone has one and they all stink-

Norm
Upper East Side



What people are neglecting to realize is that people are addicted to heroin and other things because of the pills people are being given!! Someone is on now talking about bills and he is so correct!!

Marijuana had helped many! Pills gave helped no one! Pills have killed people, caused addicts , and given drug dealers more revenue than any bag of weed ever will!

Paige



I think for medicinal or recreational use I would be pro marijuana..my only concern would be smoking and driving- granted we have plenty of people present day who smoke and drive...who pop pills and drive. Prescription drug use is on the rise as it is...at least legalizing marijuana would provide the stae with revenue. Illegal use is happening daily and you could put a stop to that...as far as being able to smoke it I think mu chin like cigarette use it should be restricted to certain areas where it would be allowed...

Dana
Brooklyn

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