New York senate approves expedited medical marijuana bill
New York senate approves expedited medical marijuana bill

[JURIST] The New York Senate [official website] on Monday passed a medical marijuana bill [materials] that would expedite access to marijuana for emergency medical purposes. The bill, passed [Capital report] by a Republican-led Senate in a 50-12 vote, would allow people with “progressive and degenerative” diseases or whose lives are at risk to have better access to marijuana. Opponents of the bill had wanted a specific provision allowing early access to marijuana for young children with debilitating conditions that could be treated on a short-term basis with the drug.The bill has already passed the New York Assembly [official website] and now awaits approval by Governor Andrew Cuomo [official profile].

The legal use and sale [JURIST backgrounder] of marijuana for both medical and recreational purposes has created controversy among a number of states in the US in the past few years. Earlier this month the Louisiana House of Representatives approved [JURIST report] a medical marijuana bill to provide a legal way to supply therapeutic marijuana to patients who need it. In May the Pennsylvania Senate approved [JURIST report] a similar medical marijuana bill that would allow medical marijuana products to be grown by licensed cultivation facilities and distributed through state-regulated dispensaries. Also in May Puerto Rican Governor Alejandro Garcia Padilla signed [JURIST report] an executive order legalizing medical marijuana. The order referred to several US studies that show the therapeutic use of the plant in treating different medical conditions including pain associated with AIDS, glaucoma, migraines, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and other diseases. The Governor further noted that several US states have already legalized medical marijuana for these uses.