NEW YORK: The Senate’s lead sponsor of a measure to legalize medical marijuana has amended her bill in a way that is designed to address concerns raised by some legislators, paving the way for a possible vote by both houses of the Legislature on the long-stalled effort before the 2014 session ends in the next two weeks.
Sources say changes introduced by Sen. Diane Savino, a Staten Island Democrat, are expected to be matched on Monday with amendments to the Assembly bill by its lead sponsor in that house, Richard Gottfried, a Manhattan Democrat.
If a final deal is struck, the two houses could vote on the bill as early as this coming week, though it remains to be seen if the Senate’s Republican leaders will let it to the floor for consideration by the full Senate.
The Assembly has already passed a medical marijuana legalization bill, but the legislation did not match changes Savino had made some weeks ago designed to lure more lawmakers onto her bill. As a result, Savino and Gottfried need to match their bills, which they did on Friday, sources say. (The Assembly for years has passed a medical marijuana bill and appears willing to go along with what Savino can get through her legislative chamber.)