Medical Marijuana Has a Budding Chance in NY

The issue could get some traction, analysts say

New York might have legalized medical marijuana before it has legal gay weddings.

The movement to legalize medicinal marijuana has been gaining momentum in New York in recent years and today it will take a major leap forward as Sen. Thomas Duane plans to introduce a bill allowing card-carrying patients to keep up to 2.5 ounces of marijuana for personal use with doctor's permission.

Manhattan Assemblyman Richard Gottfried has long led the charge in the traditionally  Democrat-led Assembly, finding the votes to pass it in 2007 and 2008,  but the issue fizzled in the formerly Republican-led Senate.

Now Democrats have taken control of the Senate and the issue could get some traction. A spokesman for Senate Majority Leader Malcolm Smith didn't immediately comment, but it's the first time identical medical marijuana legislation has sponsors in both the Senate and Assembly.
Gov. David Paterson's office also did not comment on the proposal Duane is set to release today at a press conference with New Yorkers who say prescription pot would help them deal with chronic pain.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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