The sponsors of a bill to legalize medical marijuana have made last-minute changes to the legislation in an attempt to win support from Gov. Andrew Cuomo.
Sen. Diane Savino, D-Staten Island, and Assemblyman Richard Gottfried, D-Manhattan, amended their bill just before midnight, which would clear the way for a vote on Thursday—the last day of legislative session.
But while the changes appear to be in response to concerns raised by Cuomo, the governor hasn’t signed off on the bill. And a key disagreement remains: the bill still allows patients over the age of 21 to smoke marijuana for medical purposes, which Cuomo opposes.
Among the changes in the newly amended bill:
- Patients would be able to have two ounces of marijuana a month. The previous version of the bill allowed 2.5 ounces, but Cuomo on Monday publicly raised concerns about the
- The list of diseases eligible for marijuana treatment was pared down, eliminating certain conditions like lupus, diabetes and post-concussion syndrome. Now, the bill includes cancer, HIV or AIDS, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, multiple sclerosis, muscular dystrophy, traumatic brain injury, severe spinal cord injuries, epilepsy, wasting syndrome, Crohn’s disease, post-traumatic stress disorder, neuropathy, rheumatoid arthritis and Huntington’s disease.
- Other diseases could be added to the list by the state health commissioner rather than a panel of experts, a change Cuomo had pushed for Monday.
The full bill can be read here.