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Local Advocates Say Senate Support is Growing For Medical Marijuana

A local coalition supporting the legalization of medical marijuana says it now has enough support to pass in the State Senate.

But it's uncertain whether the Compassionate Care Act will make it to the floor of the Senate for a vote.

Holly Anderson, executive director of the Breast cancer Coalition of Rochester, and other local supporters went to Albany this week to win more votes for the legislation. It would allow seriously ill people to gain limited access to marijuana under medical supervision.

Anderson says there are now five senators from Western New York, including Republican Joe Robach and Democrat Ted O'Brien, on board with the legislation.  She says they did not come to their decision lightly. "We have given them the information, they have heard the opposition. They have read carefully. They have vetted what science has provided to them, and what their own staff members have been able to give to them."

Anderson says those who are still opposed to legalizing marijuana for medical use are probably influenced by a lingering fear that the substance will be abused.

She says the Compassionate Care Act includes tight restrictions for medical professionals who would dispense the drug as well as those who use it.

Beth Adams joined WXXI as host of Morning Edition in 2012 after a more than two-decade radio career. She was the longtime host of the WHAM Morning News in Rochester. Her career also took her from radio stations in Elmira, New York, to Miami, Florida.