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Cuomo Says He’ll Approve Medical Marijuana With Proper Regulation

FILE -- Gov. Andrew Cuomo (credit: Getty Images)

FILE — Gov. Andrew Cuomo (credit: Getty Images)

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

While the state Senate considers medical marijuana legislation, Cuomo said he would sign the measure if it includes proper regulation of the drug.

The so-called Compassionate Care Act was amended for the third time Friday. It cleared a hurdle last month by passing the Republican-led Senate health committee, but it still has to pass the finance committee before being brought to a floor vote.

Recent reworkings of the state Senate bill have narrowed the spectrum of diseases for which marijuana can be prescribed, made the bill more palatable to opponents. The newly amended bill sponsored by Savino narrows that to about 20 conditions, including cancer, HIV, AIDS, post-traumatic stress disorder, multiple sclerosis and Parkinson’s disease.

Sponsoring Sen. Diane Savino (D-Staten Island) said she hopes to pass the legislation within the next two weeks.

Cuomo said he does not expect the Legislature to pass any major initiatives.

In February, a Quinnipiac University poll found that only 9 percent of surveyed New York state voters oppose legalizing medical marijuana.

The poll found that 88 percent of those surveyed backed the legalization of marijuana for medical use, and 57 percent also favor legalizing recreational use.

The governor proposed a pilot program in January for 20 hospitals statewide to administer marijuana to patients.

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