Cuomo: I’d sign marijuana bill that ‘makes sense’

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Monday that he will sign medical marijuana legislation into law as long as the measure “makes sense.”

While the Senate considers such legislation, the Democrat said he would sign the measure if it includes proper regulation of the drug.

“There are advantages to using marijuana for medical treatment; there are disadvantages if you don’t do it right,” Cuomo told reporters.

The bill before the Senate would allow patients with certain debilitating diseases, such as cancer and epilepsy, to be administered the drug under the supervision of a health care professional.

“If they have a piece of legislation, and the legislation makes sense, then I would sign it because I support the overall effort,” Cuomo said.

Last week, Cuomo announced that the state will partner with a pharmaceutical company to conduct trials of marijuana-based medication for children with rare forms of epilepsy. In January he also announced a pilot program to allow 20 hospitals statewide to administer the drug to severely ill patients.

The bill was amended for the third time Friday to address some concerns of those who oppose it. While the bill already prohibited anyone under the age of 21 from smoking the drug, the amended version prohibits the drug from being baked into goods, added to sodas or other products targeted toward minors.

Last month, the bill cleared a major hurdle by passing the Republican-led Senate health committee, but it still has to pass the finance committee before being brought to a floor vote.

Sponsoring Sen. Diane Savino, a Staten Island Democrat, hopes to pass the legislation in the next two weeks.

“I’m confident that we’re certainly going to get it done by the end of the session,” she said. “I’m very confident.”

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Associated Press writer David Klepper contributed to this report.

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