Medical Marijuana Legislation Passes State Assembly
June 13, 2007
John Abraham, Long Island Press
A new measure which would allow patients experiencing pain to ingest and grow marijuana cleared the state Assembly Wednesday in a 92-52 vote. The controversial measure is currently being debated between Democrats and Republicans in the state Senate.
The state Senate is expected to introduce its own medical marijuana legislation that would allow patients to possess and use marijuana for medical purposes only if state-authorized dispensaries supplied it Generally Republicans support the measure but Democrats reject it, saying that the federal government would intervene and close down the dispensaries. This action would force patients to seek out illegal means of procuring marijuana and as a result leave them open to arrest and prosecution.
According to Scott Reif, spokesperson for the Senate Majority Committee, New York State Senator Vincent L. Liebell (R-Patterson) will likely introduce a bill by the end of this week to form “tight controls on how (marijuana) is grown and supplied.” Senate Majority Leader Joe Bruno, says Reif, is “generally supportive and empathetic” to efforts to “ease the pain of people with debilitating illnesses.”