Expand Medical Marijuana Access in Communities of Color by enacting EMAP

Expand Medical Marijuana Access in Communities of Color by enacting EMAP

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Why this petition matters

We hope this message finds you and organization well during this global pandemic. As we begin the process of restarting we all have a lot of work ahead. 

We Rise To Legalize (WeRise) is requesting your support as we continue our fight to cure economic, public health and social justice disparities in New York’s Medical Marijuana Program.

WeRise is calling on NY Governor Cuomo and the NY Department of Health to activate an innovative community based Emergency Marijuana Access Program (EMAP). We don’t need legislation passed because this is already a law. If NYDoH fails to act they are in violation of the law that was passed for these types of problems.

Why Support EMAP?

In addition to preserving life and addressing serious health risks EMAP will provide community based outreach, education, and medicinal care options throughout NYS in communities of color. That translates to immediate:

 NEW BUSINESSES being formed to boost the economy in communities of color

• ESSENTIAL JOB creation in a sustainable industry filled by New Yorkers in communities of color

• COMMUNITY REINVESTMENT and partnerships with established local Faith, community organizations and businesses

Why Push Now?

Since the NYS Medical Marijuana Program bill passed in 2014 communities of color have been systematically denied equal access to education, outreach and medicinal alternatives. 

WeRise and other organizations have brought this issue to the attention of New York State elected leaders. Each year elected leaders have cited Adult Use legislation as a “cure all” and have told advocates to be patient. While we support a responsible adult use program WeRise has always said recreation and medical marijuana expansion were two separate issues; Medical Marijuana expansion is essential health care issue, recreation is a privilege.

Two legislative cycles, opioid crisis, and now COVID pandemic have passed without the public health issue being addressed. Now we are in the middle of a crisis and we must act fast. Studies show COVID combined with the Opioid crisis creates a deadly combination in communities of color. So we are calling on New York State to act by activating EMAP.

What is EMAP?

The NYS recently passed the EMAP bill, Public Health Law 3365-A, which requires the NYDoH to expedite availability of medical marijuana to:

(1) avoid suffering and loss of life,

(2) correct progressive and degenerative conditions, and/or

(3) when delays in use pose serious risk to life and health. This is a law that was passed to protect vulnerable NYers.

Failure to act is violating the law.

Why Support EMAP?

Right now NYS Medical Marijuana Program denies communities of color equal access to community based education, outreach, and supply of medicinal marijuana.

But now recent studies show COVID combined with Opioid abuse creates a deadly combination in communities of color. The US Department of Health noted that poverty and unemployment are highly correlated with Opioid Use Disorder (OUD). Studies show that where COVID increases, unemployment and job loss increases resulting in increases in OUD. Therefore communities of color are at a serious health risk because they will experience greater spikes in unemployment, fewer healthcare options, and limited access to substance abuse treatment.

What Can You Do?

We ask that you and your organization:

(1) Sign this petition and letters of support calling on NYDoH to act now

(2) Follow us on social media (FB, IG, & Twitter)

(3) Encourage your members/supporters to stand in solidarity with our efforts; and 

(4) Work with us to craft a personalized message to your supporters to stand with this cause!!!

Again we aren’t asking to pass a law. The law is in place specifically for serious health concerns. I think we all agree that this is serious. We thank you in advance for your consideration. We look forward to working together towards rebuilding New York in light of the new norm. 

In solidarity,

WeRise To Legalize Team





131 have signed. Let’s get to 200!