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Albany watch: Change of heart on medical marijuana

More than 20 Assembly members who voted "no" in May on a bill to create a medical marijuana program voted "yes" Friday on a more restrictive proposal. Six were Long Island Republicans: Brian Curran of Lynbrook, Andrew Garbarino of Sayville, Al Graf of Holbrook, David McDonough of Merrick, Anthony Palumbo of New Suffolk and Joseph Saladino of Massapequa.

Palumbo, a former narcotics prosecutor, began the year figuring he'd oppose the bill.

"I thought this was going to be an end-run on legalization" of all marijuana products, the freshman said. But he said the final bill had sufficient controls and suffering patients need help. "I don't think we can sit on the sidelines any longer," he said.-- Yancey Roy

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