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Albany: There’s (Budget) Hope In Dope

Albany, March 23 — Two Manhattan NYS legislators are sponsoring bills to make New York the 15th state to legalize medical use of marijuana. If passed it will be a new tool in pain management for two groups: patients with chronic medical pain and NYS officials who are trying to close a $9 billion budget chasm.

The Daily News put it succinctly: “Senate Democrats are counting on a pot of gold.” If passed, the medical marijuana measure will raise about $15 million dollars.

Sen. Thomas Duane and Assemblyman Richard Gottfried, both Democrats from Manhattan are leading the charge to legalize and tax medical marijuana. “It is the right thing to do and there is revenue attached to it,” says Duane. “Making marijuana a part of [medical] treatment would be a tremendous advance,” he says.

Duane’s bill would prohibit patients from growing their own supply and having a backyard “hot-house pot-house,” a concession he has made to win bipartisan support.

New Jersey approved marijuana legislation in January, permitting prescriptions for glaucoma, seizures, cancer, AIDS, inflammatory bowel syndrome and certain neurological diseases.

Sources: Daily News, 1/23Courier-Post 2/21 (South Jersey), WNYC 2/23
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