New York Senate approves medical marijuana

Sen. Diane Savino, D-Staten Island, left, and Assemblyman

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) (Credit: AP)

ALBANY, N.Y. - (AP) The New York Senate has voted to legalize marijuana to alleviate pain and other symptoms for some severely ill patients.
    
The 49-10 approval follows the 113-13 vote earlier Friday by the Assembly for the compromise among legislative leaders and Gov. Andrew Cuomo.
    
That will make New York the 23rd state to legalize, but the drug won't be available in New York for at least 18 months while regulations are written and five state-approved producers and distributors are chosen.
    
Many senators say it will help alleviate suffering of children with seizures.
    
The bill doesn't allow the drug to be sold in plant form or smoked. It could be administered through a vaporizer or in an oil base.
    
Marijuana could be prescribed for 10 diseases, including cancer, epilepsy, AIDS and neuropathy.

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