Bill Passes Assembly Health Committee on Tuesday
By Steve Elliott
Patient advocates -– including patients who use marijuana for medical purposes -– and health care professionals came to Albany on Tuesday to support legislation to allow medical use of marijuana in New York.
Patients suffering from severe debilitating or life-threatening conditions could be treated with medical marijuana under legislation introduced by Assembly Health Committee Chair Richard N. Gottfried and Senator Diane J. Savino. New York’s bill A. 6357/S.4406 is cosponsored by 68 other legislators.
The bill was reported from the Assembly Health Committee Tuesday by 21-4, including three of the Committee’s seven Republicans voting in favor.
The bill has been endorsed by dozens of organizations, including the New York State Nurses Association; the Pharmacists Society of the State of New York; the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union; and the New York State AIDS Advisory Council.
A 2012 Siena poll found that a strong majority of New Yorkers support legalization of medical marijuana, 61 percent-33 percent, including 69 percent-27 percent among independent voters.