Medical marijuana could be legalized in New York this spring: advocates – New York Daily News

An employee pulls marijuana out of a large canister for a customer at the LoDo Wellness Center in downtown Denver, Colorado, U.S., on Thursday, Jan. 9, 2014. Colorado has just legalized the commercial production, sale, and recreational use of marijuana, while Washington State will begin its own pot liberalization initiative at the end of February. On Jan. 8, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said his state would join 20 others and the District of Columbia in allowing the drug for medical purposes. Photographer: Matthew Staver/BloombergMatthew Staver/Bloomberg An employee pulls marijuana out of a large canister for a customer at the LoDo Wellness Center in downtown Denver in January after Colorado legalized the commercial production, sale and recreational use of marijuana. Advocates say medical marijuana — not recreational use — could be approved soon in New York.

ALBANY — Medical marijuana may finally be growing on state lawmakers.

Bolstered by growing public acceptance and hints of support from Gov. Cuomo, proponents of pot as medicine believe newly re-drafted legislation will be approved in Albany this spring — making New York the 22nd state to legalize medical marijuana.

“We’re closer to this than we have ever been before,” said Gabriel Sayegh of Drug Policy Alliance.

Hoping to overcome the remaining opposition in the state Senate, advocates revised the legislation, placing tighter restrictions on how the drug can be used. The new version, introduced Friday, removed language that gave doctors freedom to prescribe pot for a wide array of symptoms.

j=0605_stopfriskSkip Dickstein/Albany Times Union With Gov. Cuomo hinting that he would support medical marijuana, proponents and state lawmakers say revised legislation allowing medical pot could be approved in Albany this spring.

Instead, the new version limits its use to about 20 serious conditions, including cancer, traumatic brain injury, AIDS, Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis and post-traumatic stress disorder.

The new version also prevents anyone under 21 from being able to smoke marijuana for medicinal purposes — though they could be prescribed the drug in other forms. 

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