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City Council looking to help Albany legalize medical marijuana


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A City Council committee is hoping to light up a languishing medical marijuana bill in Albany.

The committee will meet Friday to discuss the stalled legislation in a bid to pass a resolution that supports or suggest changes to the bill, which has in the past gotten stuck in the Senate.

Sixteen states and the District of Columbia have laws permitting patients to use marijuana as an analgesic for diseases such as cancer, multiple sclerosis and AIDS. Supporters hope New York state will join them.

The legislation now in Albany would permit patients to register with the state Department of Health, receive identity cards, and keep up to 2.5 ounces of marijuana for their personal use.

Many people feel the bill is doomed, but State Assemblyman Richard Gottfried (D-Manhattan) said a City Council resolution “will make it even clearer how broad and mainstream support is for legalizing medical marijuana in New York.”

If Gov. Andrew Cuomo were to support the legislation “that would be an enormous step towards getting it passed in the State Senate and signed into law,” added Gottfried, a sponsor of the legislation in the Assembly.

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