In a 21 to 4 vote, the New York State Assembly Health Committee approved the use, production, and sale of medical marijuana.
Sen. Diane Savino (D-Staten Island) and Assembly Health Committee Chair Richard Gottfried (D-Manhattan) introduced the medical marijuana bill (A.6357/S.4406) and are optimistic about its chances in the Senate, where it has failed in the past, due to the bill's tight stipulations.
"We're picking up support member by member," stated Savino, following the committee's decision. "My count now is we have 38 yes votes, solid yes votes, (and) six leaning yes. We only need 32 in the Senate: We're going to get this bill done this year."
The bill has been endorsed by dozens of organizations including the New York State Nurses Association, the Lymphoma Foundation of America, the Hospice and Palliative Care Association of New York State, and the New York State AIDS Advisory Council.
The bill will now head to the Assembly's Code Committee.