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NY Governor Cuomo to allow limited medical marijuana use

Posted: January 6, 2014 |   Comments

( According to CNN, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo is considering taking executive action to allow certain hospitals to dispense medical marijuana.

Thanks to a law passed in 1980, Cuomo is legally allowed to make such a decision without the legislature's approval. That law allows the governor to set up a highly regulated system that is less liberal than many of those found in other parts of the country.

As reported by CNN, "Under Cuomo's directive, the state health department would take charge by setting up the guidelines and picking hospitals that would take part. These hospitals would then have panels of people who decide, on a person-by-person basis, which patients qualify for medical marijuana."

This could grant tens of thousands of people access to medical marijuana and grow support for a more complete, far-reaching program. Although Cuomo's office can take this step independently, State Assemblyman Richard Gottfried says, "to have a truly comprehensive and well-working system will take legislation."

"It's tremendous," Gabriel Sayegh, the New York state director for the Drug Policy Alliance -- an organization fighting for fair and sensible drug laws -- said. "We applaud him coming out on this. It's going to help us build momentum to build a permanent program."

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