Medical marijuana is legal in 16 states. Is New York on track to become number 17?
That could be the case as New York lawmakers are getting ready for a legislative push in Albany, where similar bills have been stalled before.
Co-sponsor of the bill, local Democratic State Senator Diane Savino hopes so.
The bill states that patients would have to be certified by a doctor for “serious medical conditions” only. The issued licenses would expire after a year. Also, the medical marijuana could not be consumed or displayed in public.
Savino’s support of the bill stems from watching her parents and grandfather die of terminal cancer.
“This is not about getting high; this is about getting relief,” Savino told the Wall Street Journal. “It’s incredibly painful. You only have morphine. You get to the point where nothing works.”
In 2010, Quinnipiac University ran a poll that showed a 71 percent rate of support from New York’s registered voters for medically prescribed marijuana usage.
Governor Andrew Coumo’s legislative session ends in June, allowing for only a small window of time for the bill to pass.
When asked by Capital Tonight about the possibility of passing the bill by then, Governor Cuomo replied, “I understand the benefits, but there are also risks and I think the risks outweigh the benefits at this point. I understand there’s more research and there’s more evidence and it can always be re-evaluated. I don’t think there’s going to be time this legislative session to analyze that issue.”
Readers, what do you think? Is this the way forward for New York?