New York lawmakers agree on medical marijuana

by Josefa Velasquez
Sen. Diane Savino, D-Staten Island, left, and Assemblyman Richard Gottfried, D-Manhattan, listen to a speaker during a news conference announcing an agreement on legislation legalizing medical marijuana in New York in the Red Room at the Capitol on Thursday, June 19, 2014, in Albany, N.Y. A vote on the legislation is expected Thursday night when the legislative session is scheduled to end. Savino and Gottfried sponsored the legislation in their respective houses. (AP Photo/Mike Groll)

New York leaders have reached an agreement to make the state the 23rd to legalize medical marijuana.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo says Thursday the drug will be for severely ill patients.

The drug would be administered by doctors under the direction of the state's health department.

The "Compassionate Care Act" negotiated by Cuomo and lawmakers doesn't allow the drug to be sold in plant form or smoked—one of Cuomo's key demands. It can be administered through an oil-base or vaporizer.

A vote is expected Thursday night.

Sen. Diane Savino, one of the bill sponsors, says marijuana can be prescribed for at least six diseases, including epilepsy, AIDS, ALS and neuropathy.

Five regulated organizations will be allowed to grow the drug in the state and operate four dispensaries each.

Sen. Diane Savino, D-Staten Island, listens to a speaker during a news conference announcing an agreement on legislation legalizing medical marijuana in New York in the Red Room at the Capitol on Thursday, June 19, 2014, in Albany, N.Y. A vote on the legislation is expected Thursday night when the legislative session is scheduled to end. Savino sponsored the legislation in the Senate. (AP Photo/Mike Groll)

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, left, and Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, D-Manhattan, talk during a news conference announcing an agreement on legislation legalizing medical marijuana on Thursday, June 19, 2014, in Albany, N.Y. A vote on the legislation is expected Thursday night when the legislative session is scheduled to end. (AP Photo/Mike Groll)

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo speaks during a news conference announcing an agreement on legislation legalizing medical marijuana in the Red Room at the Capitol on Thursday, June 19, 2014, in Albany, N.Y. A vote on the legislation is expected Thursday night when the legislative session is scheduled to end. (AP Photo/Mike Groll)


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