This is how morally depraved the anti-marijuana legalization debate has become.
For the fifth time in seven years, the State Assembly on Tuesday passed a bill legalizing medical marijuana, backing a measure that would far surpass a program Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo announced this year.
But with less than four weeks left in the legislative session, the prospects for passage in the State Senate remained uncertain.
The bill allows the possession and use of up to two and a half ounces of marijuana by seriously ill patients whom doctors, physician assistants or nurse practitioners have certified.
“There are tens of thousands of New Yorkers with serious, debilitating, life-threatening conditions whose lives could be made more tolerable and longer by enacting this legislation,” said Assemblyman Richard N. Gottfried, a Democrat from Manhattan who heads the Health Committee and sponsored the bill.
But enacting any bill on medical marijuana may be difficult. The Assembly, where Democrats are a majority, has passed such bills as far back as 2007, but Republicans in the Senate have been chilly to the concept.
In the Assembly on Tuesday, the debate was less about the bill’s fate and more about potential ramifications.
Assemblywoman Jane L. Corwin, a Republican from the Buffalo area, suggested hypothetically that a drug kingpin, if certified as a caregiver, might be allowed to give marijuana to his sick child.
Mr. Gottfried, seemingly bewildered, offered a grudging yes and said, “I would hope that we would not prevent that child from having his or her life saved because of the sins of the child’s father.”
So there you have it. We should prevent the passage of a bill that would facilitate the use of a palliative, a pain-killer, which would help the residents of this state who suffer from “serious, debilitating, life-threatening conditions” because doing so might help a drug dealer provide comfort to his “sick child.”
We should, in short, keep this drug illegal because otherwise sick children might benefit from it.