NEW YORK: New York will become the latest state to legalize medical marijuana after the Senate on Friday passed a bill allowing the drug in non-smokeable form.
After a lengthy, emotional debate, the Senate voted 49-10 to approve the bill, which would authorize marijuana for therapeutic purposes for patients with serious diseases or conditions like cancer, AIDS and epilepsy. The Assembly approved the bill around 2:45 a.m. Friday, and Gov. Andrew Cuomo has already pledged his support.
The Senate debated the measure for more than two hours Friday, where some senators passionately urged their colleagues to help patients and support the bill while others raised concerns about putting faith in the state Department of Health to regulate the program.
As lawmakers voted, advocates for medical marijuana — including parents with their young, epileptic children — watched from a gallery above the chamber floor, applauding loudly as Senate clerk announced the final vote.