ALBANY, N.Y. — Ithaca’s New York State Senator Thomas O’Mara (R-58) and Assemblywoman Barbara Lifton (D-125) both voted yes on a medical marijuana bill that is now headed to Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s desk.
The New York State Senate voted 49-10 Friday afternoon in favor of legalizing medical marijuana in non-smokeable forms in the state.
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Following a state assembly vote early Friday approving the medical marijuana plan, the Senate voted on the measure shortly after 2 p.m.
On Thursday, Gov. Andrew Cuomo and other legislators reached an agreement for a seven-year pilot program for medical marijuana. The program would allow doctors to prescribe non-smokeable marijuana to patients suffering from 10 different conditions, including cancer or AIDS, according to U.S.A. Today.
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The vote makes New York the 23rd state to legalize medical marijuana. The bill will not allow the drug to be sold in plant form. It will take at least 18 months before the first prescriptions are given, according to the Wall Street Journal.
Medical marijuana could be available in smokeless forms in about 18 months, after New York senators sent legislation to Gov. Andrew Cuomo this afternoon.
The Senate approved the legislation 49-10 after more than two and a half hours of debate. Advocates for the bill cheered and hugged afterward and cried out “Thank you” from the Senate gallery.
The legislation had been agreed to by legislative leaders and Gov. Andrew Cuomo; the governor is expected to sign the bill.
Today’s votes crossed party lines and personal illnesses and past careers in law enforcement and the military.