(AP) Pope Francis condemned the legalization of recreational drugs as a flawed and failed experiment on Friday, lending his voice to a debate which is raging from the U.S. to Uruguay and beyond.
Francis told delegates to a drug-enforcement conference in Rome that even limited attempts to legalize recreational drugs “are not only highly questionable from a legislative standpoint, but they fail to produce the desired effects.”
|New York is set to become the 23rd state to legalize medical marijuana under an agreement announced by legislative leaders.
The Democratic-led Assembly passed the legislation 113-13 early Friday after an hour of debate.
Shortly after midnight, Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos said the bill would be voted on later in the day when Republican lawmakers had reviewed the legislation.
Skelos, of Long Island, said he planned to vote for the measure and believed there were enough votes to pass the bill in the upper chamber.
The so-called Compassionate Care Act would legalize certain forms of marijuana for severely ill patients. The legislation does not allow the drug to be sold in plant form or smoked, but it can be administered through a vaporizer or in an oil base.
Earlier in the negotiations, Gov. Andrew Cuomo sought to ban smoking the drug, saying it was wrong for the state to promote smoking.
"In the end you have to balance the needs of many of the patients and the truth is we're coming to a point where less and less people smoke ... anyway," said bill sponsor Sen. Diane Savino, a Staten Island Democrat, on Thursday.
Marijuana could be prescribed for at least 10 diseases - including epilepsy, AIDS, ALS and neuropathy - under the direction of the state's health department. The health commissioner would