State Senator Diane Savino’s effort to legalize medical marijuana failed to gain traction in the New York State Senate. Capital New York is reporting that Savino, who represents parts of Coney Island, Gravesend and Brighton Beach, blamed the failure on Governor Andrew Cuomo’s lack of desire to see the measure pass but was hopeful that it could become a reality next year.
Opposition to the Savino-sponsored effort included two of New York’s biggest political pillars, Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Cuomo. Bloomberg derided the entire concept of medical marijuana as a hoax and Cuomo was worried that a medical marijuana program would be abused like it is in California, where prescriptions are often written for the most minor of afflictions.
Savino outright blamed Cuomo for the bill’s failure to gain traction in the Senate.
“In fact, there was overwhelming support for medical marijuana and that didn’t move forward, because the governor didn’t want to do it,” Savino told NY1.
Despite the failure for medical marijuana to pass in the last Senate session, Savino and Julie Netherland, the deputy state director for the New York Office of the Drug Policy Alliance, are hopeful that it will return as a major issue next year.
“Our advocates are already talking about next year and our need for the bill has not diminished at all,” Netherland told Capital New York.
Cuomo has yet to respond to Savino’s comments.