New York is one stop closer to becoming the 23rd medical marijuana state. Today, the NY State passed the Compassionate Care Act bill, which allows the use of medical marijuana under the supervision of a healthcare provider.

via Drug Policy Alliance:

Today, the New York State Assembly passed (A.6357-B/Gottfried) by a bipartisan vote of 91 – 34. This is the fifth time that the Assembly has passed a medical marijuana bill, and comes just months after the Assembly included the measure in their one-house state budget proposal. The bill, known as the Compassionate Care Act, would provide relief for thousands of New York patients suffering from serious and debilitating conditions – such as cancer, MS, and epilepsy —  by allowing  the use of medical marijuana under the supervision of their healthcare provider. Patients, caregivers, and providers watched from the gallery as the Assembly debated and then voted overwhelmingly in favor of the bill.

“Once again the Assembly has shown that it understands the needs of seriously ill patients in New York,” said Donna Romano of Syracuse. “As someone who lives with MS and seizures, I know medical marijuana can help alleviate my suffering and that of thousands of other New Yorkers. I hope the Senate will finally do the right thing and pass the Compassionate Care Act now.”

While the bill has sailed through the Assembly, it’s been long bogged down in the Senate. Last week, the Senate Health Committee passed the measure —  S.4406-B(Savino) – and the bill now awaits a vote in the Senate Finance Committee. Last week, Finance Committee Chair John DeFrancisco told the press he would allow a vote on the Compassionate Care Act, but only if Senate Leadership agrees to it.

“I applaud the leadership of the Assembly in passing the Compassionate Care Act for the fifth time,” said Kate Hintz of North Salem whose daughter Morgan suffers from a severe and life-threatening seizure disorder. “But my family can’t keep waiting; every day we wait is another day of seizures that could take our daughter’s life. It’s time for the Senate to follow the Assembly’s lead and pass the bill before more seriously ill New Yorkers needlessly suffer or die.”

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