Medical marijuana OK

New York state should allow marijuana to be used for medical purposes.

The measure would be a small victory for those who suffer from debilitating illnesses.

The state Assembly on Tuesday passed legislation that would legalize the use of marijuana for medical purposes. The bill, dubbed the Compassionate Care Act, would allow patients with one of 20 illnesses to use the drug.

Now, a medical marijuana bill needs to get through the Senate.

It cleared a major hurdle recently with passage in the Senate health committee and now awaits consideration by the finance committee.

Sen. John DeFrancisco, chairman of the finance committee, said Wednesday he is opposed to the Compassionate Care Act passed by the Assembly, but he’s open to a bill proposed by Republican Sen. Phil Boyle that would prohibit smoking the drug while allowing its use through a vaporizer, oils or edibles.

Before the session ends this month, the Senate should approve a medical marijuana bill.

We expect to see support from Gov. Andrew Cuomo on this issue. Cuomo – who proposed a limited medical marijuana pilot program, which would allow 20 hospitals statewide to administer the drug – has been noncommittal on the Compassionate Care Act. He would review the legislation if passed, a spokesman said.

Almost half the states in the U.S. have legalized marijuana for medical uses. There have been no significant reported problems as a result of sick people using marijuana legally.

It is past time New York state produced a sensible measure regarding medical marijuana.