New York State Assembly Greenlights Medical Marijuana Bill

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By Esther Tanquintic-Misa | May 29, 2014 4:30 PM EST

The State Assembly of New York on Tuesday has passed a legislation legalising medical marijuana in the area. But will it also sail through the Senate this time? This is the fifth time, in a span of 7 years, the assembly has passed a medical marijuana bill.

REUTERS
Demonstrators smoke a giant joint of cannabis during a pro-marijuana legalization march in Brasilia May 23, 2014.

The bill "is really about a simple concept, which is to alleviate suffering," according to Senator Brad Hoylman, as qouted by the Huffington Post.

Known as the Compassionate Care Act, the bill seeks to provide relief for thousands of New York patients suffering from serious and debilitating conditions, including cancer, multiple sclerosis and epilepsy. The bill stipulates the use of medical marijuana will be under strict supervision of healthcare providers.

Seriously ill patients who have been first certified by their healthcare providers will be allowed and given up to two and a half ounces of marijuana. Organisations will be allowed to create dispensaries to deliver the drug to registered users and their caregivers.

"There are tens of thousands of New Yorkers with serious, debilitating, life-threatening conditions whose lives could be made more tolerable and longer by enacting this legislation," Assemblyman Richard N. Gottfried, who heads the Health Committee and sponsored the bill, said, as quoted by NYTimes.

But before the bill flies off the table, it needs to be passed by the Senate moving on to Gov. Andrew Cuomo for his signature and seal.

On Friday, a new poll released by Quinnipiac University showed 83 per cent of NY voters support legalising medical marijuana.

"Medical marijuana in New York, and in every other state surveyed by Quinnipiac, is a no-brainer," Maurice Carroll, assistant director of the Quinnipiac poll, said in a statement quoted by auburnpub.com.

The bill now awaits a vote in the Senate Finance Committee.

Lawmakers have less than 4 weeks left in the legislative session to pass with finality the Compassionate Care Act.

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(Photo: REUTERS / Ueslei Marcelino)
Demonstrators smoke a giant joint of cannabis during a pro-marijuana legalization march in Brasilia May 23, 2014.
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