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Senator says enough votes to pass medical marijuana - 04/16/13

This is the year medical marijuana becomes legal in New York State, that is the hope of a group of lawmakers and advocates.

In tiny room of the Legislative Office Building a large group of supporters said medical marijuana is the answer to their pain. A woman from Auburn, west of Syracuse, said she has multiple sclerosis and lives in pain daily. Marijuana made her life more comfortable added the woman.

"I smoked marijuana for relief and relief is what I got," said Susan Rusinko.

Senator Diane Savino, D-Staten Island, said Tuesday medical marijuana bills have passed the Assembly in years past but they have always stalled in the Senate. Savino says this year will be different.

"We have 38 solid yes votes in the Senate," said Savino speaking on a medical marijuana bill.

Savino, who is a member of the IDC, a group of breakaway democrats who shares power of the Senate with the republicans, said 18 other states have made marijuana legal for medicinal purposes. In response to possible backlash over policing medical marijuana, Svaino said "we have had a chance to see what other states have done (both) good and bad and we crafted a bill."

"We will not be the first state to do medical marijuana but we will be the best state," Savino added.

Governor Andrew Cuomo has said publicly he is against legalizing marijuana for medicinal purposes because he believes it "does more harm than good".


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