Medical pot weeds way thru Albany:smoker:
Tuesday, June 12th 2007, 9:10 AM
ALBANY - After years of debate, both houses of the Legislature are on the brink of legalizing medical marijuana, the Daily News learned last night.
“I’m very optimistic the bill will pass both houses and go to the governor within the next 10 days,” Assembly Health Committee Chairman Richard Gottfried (D-Manhattan) said.
Gov. Spitzer, after flatly stating last year as a candidate he opposed medical marijuana, is now open to the legislation, aides said.
Under the measure, to acquire marijuana a person would have to have a debilitating or life-threatening illness and would need a doctor’s note certifying that marijuana would be beneficial.
Those individuals would be limited to possessing no more than 2½ ounces of cultivated pot or 12 growing plants.
The patients would also need to get a registration card from the state Health Department.
But because marijuana is an illegal substance, people who sell pot to such patients could still face criminal charges, Gottfried acknowledged.
Groups advocating for legislation, citing studies that pot can relieve suffering from a variety of diseases, said they were pleased to learn that New York could become the 13th state to put a medical marijuana law on the books.
“It makes no sense to put cancer patients and AIDS patient in jail for trying to relieve their pain and nausea,” said Bruce Mirken, spokesman for the Marijuana Policy Project, a Washington-based lobby group.