June 20, 2014 / 6:31 PM / in 3 years

Medical pot bill wins final passage in New York state legislature

ALBANY, N.Y., June 20 (Reuters) - New York state lawmakers gave final approval on Friday to allow limited access to medical marijuana and make New York the 23rd U.S. state to make the drug available for therapeutic purposes.

The 49 to 10 vote in the State Senate came one day after Governor Andrew Cuomo, a Democrat, announced a deal with lawmakers that Cuomo said balanced public health and public safety concerns.

The State Assembly passed the measure in the early morning hours of Friday by a vote of 117 to 13.

The program, which would bar smoking of marijuana but allow it to be eaten or vaporized, would be regulated by the state’s Department of Health. It includes a “fail-safe” provision that would allow the governor to stop the program at any time. (Reporting by TG Branfalt; Writing by Edith Honan; Editing by Eric Beech)

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