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Medical Marijuana Bill Passes First Step in New York

Medical Marijuana Bill Passes First Step in New York

New York, New York! Yesterday, the state Senate’s Health Committee passed a bill that would legalize medical marijuana for patients suffering from any of twenty ailments, including Parkinson’s Disease, HIV/AIDS, cancer, and post-traumatic stress disorder. Cue a sigh of relief from thousands of advocates watching in awe as the bill passed 9-8, with only one Republican voting in favor.

Some believe this first step was the most difficult – now the bill goes to the Finance Committee, and if it passes, the state Senate. Depending on how quickly it passes in the Finance Committee, it could be brought to a full Senate vote as early as this month.

Critics of the bill worry that it will become too much like California’s program, where pretty much anyone can get a prescription for pot. Some Republicans state they would be in favor of medicinal marijuana in the form of edibles and oils, but not smoke. Although, if patients are suffering from cancer or AIDS, it hardly seems like medium matters.

New York State Senator Diane Savino sponsored the bill, and has answered every critical question it’s encountered so far. She said the bill “would create the tightest, most-regulated program in the nation” and would require every pot plant to have a bar code to prevent it from being swept up by the black market. The legislature would also create an age limit of 21 for consumption of the drug.

Savino has garnered at least 39 “yes” votes for the bill in the Senate, enough for it to pass. Here’s hoping!

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