According to WAMC, Senator Krueger says the Senate currently does not have enough votes to pass the measure, and she’s hoping the Assembly will approve it first. She also wants Democratic Governor Andrew Cuomo, who unconvincingly says he backs legalized marijuana to help convince ambivalent Senators.
“And then I can try to make the case that people who might have been scared away when it dropped out of the budget should come back to vote for it,” says Krueger
Peoples-Stokes seems to think that idea is tolerable.
“It’s not something that we are adverse to,” Peoples- Stokes said. “We will look to do that this time.”
Cuomo says he is reluctant to persuade people to vote for it if they would rather not. The governor spoke on Rochester public radio station WXXI’s program, Connections with Evan Dawson on May 10.
“I support it,” Cuomo sad. “But if they are starting to suggest that I need to twist arms, then that’s bad sign. Because arm twisting doesn’t work. And it means they don’t have the political support.”
Cuomo came out in support of marijuana in the 11th hour of the governor’s race, to eviscerate his opponent’s campaign. Sex and the City star Cynthia Nixon, ran on a legalization platform. Therefore, his true intention regarding cannabis is questionable.
The new version of the bill also expands the state’s medical marijuana program. Doctors will have autonomy to decide if their patients require cannabis to treat their illnesses rather than adhering to the current list of 17 specific qualifying conditions.
Senator Krueger says it might be easier to pass the medical marijuana expansion without legalizing adult use. However, she believes both are necessary, in order for cannabis cultivators to produce enough plants to lower the cost for medical use.
A month supply of a .5mg sublingual tincture from New York’s Columbia Care dispensary currently costs between $180 and $360, depending on the frequency of daily consumption to treat conditions such as chronic pain. Patients must pay out of pocket for medical marijuana as it is not covered by health insurance plans.
“It’s economically unrealistic,” she said.
Krueger says if lawmakers adjourn again without approving a comprehensive cannabis package, she believes they will have “flunked the assignment."
Many New Yorkers felt that way when the previous cannabis bill failed to pass.