New York Senate approves medical marijuana

(AP) The New York Senate has voted to legalize marijuana to alleviate pain and other symptoms for some severely ill patients.

The 49-10 approval follows the 113-13 vote earlier Friday by the Assembly for the compromise among legislative leaders and Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

That will make New York the 23rd state to legalize, but the drug won't be available in New York for at least 18 months while regulations are written and five state-approved producers and distributors are chosen.

Many senators say it will help alleviate suffering of children with seizures.

The bill doesn't allow the drug to be sold in plant form or smoked. It could be administered through a vaporizer or in an oil base.

Marijuana could be prescribed for 10 diseases, including cancer, epilepsy, AIDS and neuropathy.