WOODBURY - There are several issues holding up an agreement on a medical marijuana law as this year's legislative session comes to a close in Albany.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo threw a monkey wrench into the negotiations by insisting that any legislation to legalize marijuana for medical purposes should expire in five years. That timeframe would be considered a testing period. Lawmakers would then have to vote again on the issue.
The bill's sponsor, state Sen. Diane Savino, of Staten Island, says there's no way she will support that amendment.
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“Medical marijuana growers will not come to New York and invest if they think the door is going to shut on them in five years,” said Savino.
There's also significant disagreement over how patients could use medical marijuana. Gov. Cuomo and many legislators are opposed to allowing patients to smoke marijuana, calling it a health hazard. State Sen. Phil Boyle, of Bay Shore, then proposed a compromise that would allow only the terminally ill to smoke marijuana.
It is the consensus of most legislators that an agreement will be reached and a bill will be passed into law, but it's still a matter of when.