Senate Health Committee passes Compassionate Care Act

Bipartisan support for the bill has been increasing in recent weeks, when it was changed to prohibit people under 21 from smoking marijuana. Instead, underage patients would be allowed to use it in oil form. (5/20/14)

WOODBURY - The legalization of medical marijuana in New York took another step forward after the Senate Health Committee passed the Compassionate Care Act Tuesday afternoon.

Bipartisan support for the bill has been increasing in recent weeks, when it was changed to prohibit people under 21 from smoking marijuana. Instead, underage patients would be allowed to use it in oil form.

The bill now heads to the Senate Finance Committee.

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The state Assembly had passed the legislation four different times, but the Senate has never acted on it until today.

According to the bill, a patient would have to be certified by a doctor to use medical marijuana. After registering with the state Health Department, they would get a patient ID card. Specific organizations would be approved to dispense the marijuana to registered patients.

The proposal includes more than 20 serious medical conditions including cancer, HIV, AIDS, muscular dystrophy, Parkinson’s disease, epilepsy, rheumatoid arthritis and Lupus.

Senate Republican Leader Dean Skelos has said he's confident the full Senate will vote on a medical marijuana bill before the session ends next month.

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