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Medical Marijuana to Be Legalized in New York

Tentative agreement reached between legislature, Cuomo to legalize medical marijuana with some restrictions.

New York State lawmakers have agreed on a bill to make medical marijuana legal, with some restrictions.

The announcement of a "tentative agreement" on a bill that would instate a "pilot program" came after days of negotiation between Gov. Andrew Cuomo and the legislature, according to the New York Times.

"You’re dealing with children with epilepsy, babies, so there are certainly significant medical benefits that can be garnered," Cuomo said Thursday. "At the same time, there are also risks that have to be averted, public health risks, public safety risks and we believe this bill strikes the right balance. It’s taken a lot of time, it’s taken a lot of work, it’s taken a lot of compromise, but we believe it strikes the right balance."

The bill will "permit only doctors to prescribe marijuana in forms including oil-based and vapor to individuals with conditions including, cancer, AIDS, epilepsy, and multiple sclerosis," The Wall Street Journal reported. 

All diseases covered "are appropriate, but not overly-expansive," Cuomo said. 

The bill does not allow for smokeable marijuana, "which is important," according to Cuomo. Sponsors of the bill favored smokeable varieties but Cuomo thought it would contribute to development of a gateway drug, according to the Wall Street Journal report. 

In working with doctors who are of a "highly educated, highly regulated profession," the Department of Health will have the proper authority over the program, Cuomo said.

“The positive medical benefits from marijuana will no longer be ignored in the State of New York," State Sen. David Carlucci, D-Rockland/Westchester, said in a statement. "I am proud to have worked together with my colleagues in Albany to make sure we legalize medical marijuana while providing strict State oversight. Thousands of patients throughout New York who are suffering from a variety of diseases will finally see a huge improvement in their quality of life.”

New York would be the biggest state yet to legalize use of the drug as a medication. Minnesota and Maryland were the latest states to legalize it, according to ProCon.org.

The State Health Department will oversee the seven-year program and will have 18 months to establish regulations and find distribution bodies, the Times reported. 

knee jerk June 21, 2014 at 05:59 PM
Why Adolfo, would you want (tongue in cheek) medical marijuana? Right now, with the same pain complaint, you can get oxycodone prescribed, and I'm sure it's a lot stronger and more addictive.
Richard Morris June 25, 2014 at 12:14 AM
Cuomo actually admits to smoking pot when he was younger. If this is not the HIGHEST form of HYPOCRISY I don't know what is. For all we know this guy still probably lights up every now and then, yet he votes against people being able to smoke.
mark June 25, 2014 at 08:17 AM
the only reasons this remains illegal is because theres so much money to be made keeping it illegal. Theres tons of money being made in jailing people and even more to be made by keeping it a black market commodity.
BRADY June 30, 2014 at 06:25 PM
Good noew this can be teamed up with all the bogus Disabled Plates and Disabled parking permits issued by state and city agencies
SCOTT July 08, 2014 at 04:05 PM
Please legalize it quick, my lips itch for a nice smooth water bong with a choke on it, ROLL ROLL ROLL A JOINT, PASS IT DOWN THE LINE, TAKE A TOKE AND HOLD THE SMOKE AND BLOW YOUR FCKN MIND. Light up AMERICA you to Cuomo still.

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