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      Bill to legalize medical marijuana passes State Assembly

      New York's Democratic-led Assembly has passed a bill to legalize medical marijuana for severely ill patients.

      Lawmakers passed the measure 113-13 early Friday morning.

      The so-called Compassionate Care Act would legalize certain forms of marijuana for patients with at least 10 kinds of illness, including AIDS, cancer and epilepsy.

      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.

      Assemblyman Richard Gottfried, sponsor of the legislation, has been pushing for legalization of medical marijuana for 18 years.

      The Republican-led Senate is expected to take up the bill later Friday after the Republican lawmakers have reviewed the legislation. If approved, New York will become the 23rd state to legalize the drug.