Lawmakers made final push for medical marijuana reforms

ALBANY — Advocates for expanding the state’s medical-marijuana program said Wednesday they will push for a package of reforms to be approved by the state Legislature before the legislative session ends next week.

The state’s medical-marijuana program, which started Jan. 1, allows patients with serious illnesses to get the drug in non-smokeable forms. But the program has been beset with criticism for limited access and not enough doctors being able to prescribe the drug.

Lawmakers, patients and patients said they are seeking three bills to change the law to allow more people to get the drug. The session ends next Thursday.

The proposals would allow nurse practitioners and physician assistants to recommend medical marijuana for their patients; add chronic pain as an eligible medical condition; and expand the types of medical marijuana available to children with intractable epilepsy.

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