ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — Lawmakers may be coming to an agreement to allow the use of medical marijuana after revised legislation was introduced Friday that limits the number of diseases that would qualify for prescriptions.
Opponents criticized the original bill for allowing prescribers to determine what constitutes a serious condition, previously defined generally as severely debilitating or life threatening. The amended bill narrows that to about 20 conditions, including cancer, HIV, AIDS, post-traumatic stress disorder, multiple sclerosis and Parkinson's disease.
"Those are conditions that have been determined, in either other states or through research, to be benefited by medical marijuana treatment," said the legislation's sponsor, Sen. Diane Savino, of Staten Island.
Savino, a member of a group of breakaway Democrats that control the Senate with Republicans, says she has 39 votes in favor for the bill — only 32 are needed to pass legislation in the Senate.
Earlier this month, Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver said his chamber would pass the legislation again if the Senate took up the bill. The Assembly has passed the measure each year since 2007.
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