New York Gov. Cuomo to allow limited use of medical marijuana: paper

NEW YORK Sat Jan 4, 2014 9:52pm EST

A fully budded marijuana plant ready for trimming is seen at the Botanacare marijuana store ahead of their grand opening on New Year's day in Northglenn, Colorado December 31, 2013 file photo. REUTERS/Rick Wilking

A fully budded marijuana plant ready for trimming is seen at the Botanacare marijuana store ahead of their grand opening on New Year's day in Northglenn, Colorado December 31, 2013 file photo.

Credit: Reuters/Rick Wilking

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NEW YORK (Reuters) - New York will soon allow the limited use of medical marijuana for seriously ill patients under a plan the state's governor will announce in the next few days, the New York Times reported on Saturday.

Governor Andrew Cuomo, who has steadily resisted pressure to legalize marijuana, was expected to announce the plan at Wednesday's State of the State address, according to the newspaper's website.

A spokesman for Cuomo's office declined to comment on the report.

The newspaper said the policy will be far more restrictive than the laws in Colorado or California, where medical marijuana is available to people with conditions such as backaches.

The move comes amid sharply shifting attitudes in the United States toward marijuana use.

Earlier this week, Colorado became the first state to regulate and sell marijuana for recreational use.

Twenty states and the District of Columbia have passed laws in recent years allowing for various uses of medical marijuana - but only Colorado and Washington have decriminalized its recreational use.

Washington is not slated to open its first retail establishments until later in 2014.

Under Cuomo's plan, 20 hospitals across New York will be allowed to prescribe marijuana to patients suffering from cancer, glaucoma and other serious diseases that meet standards to be set by the state Department of Health, the newspaper said.

Cuomo's executive action does not require legislative approval, but instead relies on a provision in a state public health law that allows for the use of controlled substances for patients with cancer and other serious illnesses, it said.

(Reporting by Chris Francescani; Editing by Jon Herskovitz, Dan Grebler and Diane Craft)

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Comments (13)
Interesting, indeed. Instead of Federal law being bypassed by State law; now it only takes a Governor’s “decree.”

While the outcomes in the world of marijuana may be commendable; the issue is begging for a major Federal-State showdown in the legal world of precedents.

The common sense solution is obviously the Federal re-classification of marijuana. Of course, that would mean the instant “supply” takeover by the liquor companies and drug companies. The drug cartels wouldn’t be the least bit pleased, however.

Jan 04, 2014 8:46pm EST  --  Report as abuse
drauckerr wrote:
It seems to me the Federal government is really failing miserably with this. Instead of fighting medical use of marijuana, they should be working with pharmaceuticals to produce something akin to Nicotine gum as a delivery mechanism for people who can benefit medically from marijuana. That would remove medical use from the legalization argument and allow the government to focus on those people who are growing, distributing, and using for purposes of intoxication.

Jan 04, 2014 9:03pm EST  --  Report as abuse
ralphos wrote:
I get hundreds of thousands of unique visitors looking at jobs in Colorado from New York Half his town may soon move.

I got me a time share. I will move there step by step.

Jan 04, 2014 9:13pm EST  --  Report as abuse
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