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NY Passes Medical Marijuana Bill - Senate Approval Still Needed

posted 12:47 PM EST, Thu June 19, 2008
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NY Passes Medical Marijuana Bill - Senate Approval Still Needed © Photo: Robz

Pending State Senate approval, New Yorkers prescribed marijuana for pain relief will be free from prosecution.

New York State legislators voted 79-48 on amendments to a proposed law that would allow patients with a life threatening or debilitating illness legal protection to smoke medical marijuana.

A similar bill was introduced last year, and has remained stalled in Senate pending ratifications. State Senators now have until June 23rd to approve the proposed legislation. Under the law, patients with a legitimate medical need and a doctor's consent would be free from police prosecution for their use of the medicinal plant.

Bill sponsor and Assembly Health Committee Chair, Richard N. Gottfried., commented, "Every day that goes by without this sensible, compassionate law is a day in which our most vulnerable citizens must choose between suffering debilitating pain or risking arrest in order to find relief. These patients don't have the luxury of waiting another year for their elected representatives to act – they need the Senate to stand up for them now."

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