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Key legislators and Governor Andrew Cuomo have reached an agreement on legislation – which will be submitted as a Governor’s program bill – allowing patients suffering from severe debilitating or life-threatening conditions to be treated with marijuana under medical supervision. The bill is based largely on the Compassionate Care Act, legislation sponsored by Assembly Health Committee Chair Richard N. Gottfried and Senator Diane Savino, with amendments in response to concerns raised by the Governor.

“This is a tremendous victory for patients,” said Assembly Member Gottfried, who has been sponsoring medical marijuana legislation since 1997. “If the patient and physician agree that a severe debilitating or life-threatening condition should be treated with medical marijuana, it is cruel for government to stand in the way. We’ve incorporated many of the Governor’s requirements to gain his support. This comprehensive, tightly-regulated legislation will bring relief to thousands of New Yorkers.

It is expected to pass the Assembly – where previous versions of the bill have passed several times with strong bi-partisan support – and the Senate in the next few hours.  Polls have repeatedly shown overwhelming support for medical marijuana, including 83% statewide and 74% among Republicans in a recent Quinnipiac poll.