Medical marijuana patients in New York receive support through new law

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The state legislators have approved a bill that provides housing protection to medical marijuana users

With huge support from the New York State Senate, new legislation to provide certain housing protections for medical marijuana patients has been approved by a 58-2 vote. Lawmakers approved bill S4117 that “prohibits the eviction of tenants for using medical marijuana for a certified medical use.” In a memo attached to the new law says, “This legislation would seek to ensure that tenants lawfully using medical marihuana are protected from eviction proceedings.”

This bill was approved by the Senate in April 2019, but, when it got to the Assembly a few months later, it hit a wall and was killed before being returned to the Senate. Now, this new bill is heading again to the Assembly, so it can be considered by the Housing Committee. A similar bill was actually passed last year in Oregon, where landlords were prohibited from taking discriminatory action against those who either use medical cannabis or possess cannabis-related convictions.

The sponsor of the bill, Senator Anna Kaplan, spoke about the passing of this bill and states that a “tenant shall not be removed from possession of a residential unit pursuant to this article because of such person’s certified medical use of medical marihuana.” She continued, “It shall be a defense to a proceeding to recover possession of a residential unit that a landlord seeks such recovery because of a person’s certified medical use of medical marihuana, and that, but for such use, the landlord would not seek to recover possession. A landlord may rebut such defense by showing that he or she seeks to recover possession of a residential unit because of any other lawful ground.”