Revised legislation limiting the qualifying conditions for medical marijuana prescriptions may be enough to encourage New York lawmakers to approve the legalization.
Favorable reception from citizens coupled with the potential support of Gov. Cuomo makes marijuana proponents optimistic that legislation for legal marijuana will be approved this spring. If legalized New York would be the 22nd state to allow medical marijuana.
With hopes of swaying medical marijuana opponents, who previously criticized the bill context for allowing doctors to decide which conditions would be eligible for a prescription, the newly re-drafted legislation has tighter restrictions on how the drug can be used and which patients will be eligible for prescriptions.
The new version, released Friday, proposes that medicinal marijuana only be prescribed for about 20 serious conditions including cancer, AIDS, Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis and traumatic brain injury. The bill would also restrict patients under the age of 21 from smoking pot, although they could still qualify for a prescription as long as it was administered via oil or a vaporizer. Additionally individuals with a felony drug conviction would be ineligible to work in a marijuana dispensary.
According to a recent Daily News article, Sen. Diane Savino (D-Staten Island) said that the changes were made to reassure politicians who feared legalizing medical marijuana would encourage general abuse of the drug across the state.
As reported by Mrvapo magazine (please read their vapir no2 review). Medical marijuana has being passed by the Democrat-controlled Assembly time after time, only to be halter once the bill reaches the conservative Senate. While there is still some lingering doubt that the newly revised legislation will be approved by conservatives Senate leaders, supporters remain optimistic since only 32 votes are needed for the law to be approved and currently about 39 senators support the bill.
According to a Siena College poll, 51 percent of voters support legalization of medical marijuana while 21 percent think marijuana should remain illegal regardless of the intent.
If approved the legislation would be the strictest in the nation, however proponents maintain that legalization would produce hundreds of millions of dollars in tax revenue for state and local governments.