A bill that would legalize medical marijuana and set up parameters for a growing network has picked up support from some key Republicans in the state Senate, but it’s not clear if the measure will be put to a vote.
Sens. George Maziarz, R-Newfane, Niagara County, and Mark Grisanti, R-Buffalo, have come out in favor of the bill in recent days. The bill’s sponsor, Democratic Sen. Diane Savino of Staten Island, told the Staten Island Advance that there are 40 “yes” votes for the legislation, enough for passage in the Senate.
“The support is growing,” Maziarz told Gannett’s WGRZ-TV yesterday. “It deserves an up-or-down vote.”
Senate Co-Leader Dean Skelos, R-Nassau County, has opposed the bill in the past, but hasn’t said much on the issue this year. Gov. Andrew Cuomo has proposed a medical marijuana pilot program under a 1980 law that allows the state to test experimental drugs, but his office hasn’t signaled whether he would support a legislative change.
Sen. Joseph Robach, R-Greece, Monroe County, sounded support for medical marijuana last month after Cuomo announced his plan. But he hasn’t said whether he would vote in favor of Savino’s bill if it came to a vote.
“I certainly think this could be beneficial, but as with any other prescription drug, it should only be used under the direct supervision of a doctor, and should be regulated and utilized in the same fashion as other prescription drugs,” Robach said in a statement.
Here’s WGRZ’s report: