Following New Jersey's decision to legalize medical marijuana, New York cannabis activists say now is the time to push for similar legislation in the Empire State. Though New York City might be the marijuana arrest capital of the world, the state has "relatively liberal possession laws and actually passed a medical-marijuana law in 1980 but never put it to use," according to the Times. And considering the fact that 14 other states have already given medical marijuana the greenlight, Assemblyman Richard Gottfried (D-Manhattan) says there's no reason why it shouldn't be New York's turn.

"I think that the main obstacle over the years has been the fear of many in public life to touch anything with drugs," said Gottfried, who hopes the bill will reach the floor in the next couple of weeks. "But I think the climate around the states has changed." Since 2000, medical marijuana bills have passed the Assembly with bipartisan support twice, though they both got hung up in the Senate. This year, Sen. Tom Duane (D-Manhattan) is planning to introduce a piece of legislation in the Senate almost identical to Gottfried's, which calls for legalizing the use of cannabis to "treat a serious illness under medical supervision," and distributing it to patients in maximum increments of 2.5 ounces from state-licensed dispensaries only.

"What is often surprising is that people tend to assume it's a controversial bill, and that's been an obstacle," Gottfried said. "But other than the state Conservative Party, there has been little to no resistance. Even public opinion polls show overwhelming support." Gottfried apparently has the support of some Democrats, as well as a handful of Republicans. Paterson hasn't announced his position on it yet, but according to past quotes he is believed to be a supporter. The same could be said about the New York Times, which for some reason saw fit to publish the online version of the story at 4:20 pm.