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January 21 2015

New York Legalizes Use of Medical Marijuana

"New York is now the 23rdstate to adopt legislation legalizing the use of marijuana for medical use. Under the state's new law, a patient who has been certified by a healthcare provider to use medical marijuana will register with the New York State Department of Health and receive a patient identification card, with which they can obtain medical marijuana from no more than five certified organizations licensed to operate dispensaries.

Unlike most state laws to this effect, however, the New York law specifically classifies individuals validly prescribed medical marijuana as "disabled" under the state human rights law, thus, presumably requiring New York employers to provide reasonable accommodations for medical marijuana users. To be covered, individuals must suffer from a "serious condition,"defined as having one of the enumerated "severe debilitating or life-threatening conditions."