Medical marijuana bill changed in Senate, Assembly

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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.

medmarSen. 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.

(Getty Images)

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