Bruno to allow N.Y. Senate vote on medical marijuana

May 10, 2005

, Buffalo Business First

State Senate Majority Leader Joseph Bruno met with talk show host Montel Williams in Albany Tuesday and afterward pledged to allow a medical marijuana bill to come up in the Senate this session.

The Republican-controlled chamber has resisted bills in the past to legalize marijuana for medical uses. Bruno said Tuesday legislation would be worked out with advocates, including the state Medical Society, to legalize marijuana use 'in strictly regulated, medically controlled circumstances.'

Marijuana would only be used in these cases under the direction of a physician, Bruno said.

The substance can ease the nausea associated with chemotherapy and for other medicinal uses such as pain management. Williams, who has lobbied before in Albany for legalization of medical marijuana, said he smokes the substance for relief from the pain of his multiple sclerosis.

Bruno has survived prostate cancer and he said Tuesday he understands 'how difficult it is to live day to day with a painful, life-threatening illness.'

The Democrat-dominated state Assembly has regularly passed bills in the past legalizing marijuana for medical use, but those measure have failed in the Senate.

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