ALBANY, N.Y., April 22 (UPI) -- Medical marijuana advocates say they believe a measure legalizing its use in New York state has a good chance of passing in the coming weeks.
New York would be the 15th state in the United States to legalize cannabis for medicinal purposes, and advocates are confident they have the votes in the Legislature to pass a legalization bill before the current session in Albany ends in June.
The Buffalo (N.Y.) Daily News said Wednesday Gov. David Paterson is supportive of the measure that would permit qualified users to grow pot or purchase it legally.
Political observers see the Obama administration's order scaling back federal raids on pot dispensaries in California as providing the kind of support that makes the New York lawmakers more comfortable voting for their own medical marijuana law.
Still, some conservatives remain opposed to the idea on the grounds medical marijuana's benefits are unproven and it could open the door to broader legalization.