Revised Drug Legislation Limits Use

ALBANY (AP) -

Lawmakers may be coming to an agreement to allow the use of medical marijuana after revised legislation was introduced Friday that limits the number of diseases that would qualify for prescriptions.

Opponents criticized the original bill for allowing prescribers to determine what constitutes a serious condition, previously defined generally as severely debilitating or life threatening. The amended bill narrows that to about 20 conditions, including cancer, post-traumatic stress disorder, multiple sclerosis and Parkinson’s.

“Those are conditions that have been determined, in either other states or through research, to be benefited by medical marijuana treatment,” said the legislation’s sponsor, Sen. Diane Savino, of Staten Island.

Savino, a member of a group of breakaway Democrats that control the Senate with Republicans, says she has 39 votes in favor for the bill — only 32 are needed to pass legislation in the Senate.

The revised legislation would also bar patients under 21 from smoking the drug, though it could be administered in oil form or through a vaporizer.