New York is poised to become the 23rd state to legalize medical marijuana.
Under the deal Gov. Cuomo and legislative Democrats announced Thursday, patients won’t be able to smoke the drug — instead, they’ll have to ingest it as food or through vaporization, oils or pills.
Cuomo, citing the state’s efforts to combat smoking, would not sign off on a deal unless it contained the ban on puffing. “Medical marijuana has the capacity to do a lot of good for a lot of people who are in pain and suffering,” Cuomo said.
“At the same time, medical marijuana is a difficult issue because there are risks to public health and safety that have to be averted. I believe this bill is the right balance,” he said.
The Assembly was scheduled to to pass the bill in the predawn hours Friday and the Senate is expected to vote on it later in the day.
The Senate sponsor, Diane Savino (D-Staten Island), gave in on the smoking ban.