UPDATE 1-New York Gov. Cuomo to allow limited use of medical marijuana -paper

Sat Jan 4, 2014 9:51pm EST

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(Adds governor's office declining to comment)

NEW YORK Jan 4 (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 (1)
Paulpot wrote:
It’s time and the Governor can see it.
Recent big changes in Colorado, Washington, Illinios and also Uruguay make it obvious the the drug war is under attack and marijuana also has a new ally in New York as the new Mayor has indicated he is supportive of reform.
The world is changing.
If you want a long political career from this point on it’s better to go with the flow.

Jan 06, 2014 8:44am EST  --  Report as abuse
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