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Medical marijuana bill still needs vote

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Updated: 6/19 11:20 pm

ALBANY, N.Y. – The newly approved medical marijuana bill still needs a vote by state lawmakers.

Lawmakers said Thursday they were confident a vote on the Compassionate Care Act would take place Thursday night. Some said by 11 p.m. while others said before daybreak.

While in session, lawmakers will go through the bill section by section, but many said they don’t think there will be any problems passing the bill.

If the legislation passes, New York will be the twenty-third state to legalize medical marijuana. Governor Andrew Cuomo announced Thursday afternoon a deal had been reached on the bill.

Lawmakers had been amending the bill because Cuomo had concerns about certain aspects of the legislation. But he said he could support the newly amended bill because he can put a stop to the medical marijuana program at any moment.

“There are no advisory boards. There’s no intermediaries,” he said. “It’s regulated by the Department of Health. It can be stopped by the executive at any given time, so I think this is the best of both worlds.”

The bill now sits on the senate floor. Assemblyman John McDonald said it was that strict regulation which made both sides come to an agreement.

“I think it was a fair compromise on the legislature’s part as well to say, ‘Ok, you’re right. If it gets out of control, which is not anyone’s intention, pull it back.’”

But a local registered nurse said potentially ending the program is a cause for concern.

“To think that a plug can be pulled on a program,” she said. “Patients’ lives are at stake here.”

Lawmakers are currently reviewing the bill’s language and while they could be in discussions past midnight, some senators don’t expect any problems in passing the bill.

“I expect there will be some people who are positive about it, and some people who won’t be,” Senator Neil Breslin said. “I think on balance they’ll be an agreement that it should be passed.”

The bill sits on the assembly and senate floor and lawmakers must pick the bill apart and take a vote. Thursday is the last day of session, so they also have other local bills to go through. 

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Brian Kelly - 6/20/2014 12:43 AM
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Don't let Governer Cumo fool us. "Low-THC strain only" seem to be a new trend in prohibitionist propaganda rhetoric. First off, where did Medical Marijuana prohibitionists get their facts from? Links please? Show us somewhere that says the low-thc strain only is good for all ailments that Medical Marijuana is used to treat. We'll wait for documented proof/links please, because what prohibitionists are saying is a complete fallacy. The Medical Marijuana strain low-thc and high in CBD has only recently been discovered and is effective primarily in children with multiple daily seizures. The low-thc strain is not meant to treat all the other conditions strains with higher levels of thc treat. Medical Marijuana has been around for over 20 years and has been recognized by by over 20 states as medicine, BEFORE the low thc strain was even discovered. Care to explain that and what follows below away prohibitionists? With proof/links to where they are getting their info that states the low-thc strain is the cure all for every ailment that higher thc strains are used to teat. We're waiting for that proof and rebuttal. Furthermore naysayers, please read the excerpt below carefully then respond with your links, proof and rebuttal. Read carefully: Charlotte’s story and the concern for other young patients have led some lawmakers to consider passing legislation that only allows patients to access marijuana oils that are high in CBD and that have little or no THC (tetrahydrocannabinol). While it is heartening to see lawmakers’ concern for the plight of patients with catastrophic seizure disorders, these proposals unfortunately exclude the vast majority of those who can benefit from medical marijuana, some of whom also face life-threatening ailments. Relative Rarity While CBD appears to be particularly effective at treating seizures, the number of individuals treating seizure disorders through medical marijuana programs is relatively low.
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