NY Gov. Cuomo Shifts Stance on Medical Marijuana

Announcement this week will allow hospitals to prescribe for those suffering from serious illnesses

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Brennan Linsley / AP

Marijuana plants mature inside a grow house, later to be harvested, packaged and sold at Medicine Man marijuana dispensary, which is to open as a recreational retail outlet at the start of 2014, in Denver, on Dec. 27, 2013.

Gov. Andrew M Cuomo is expected to announce this week an executive action allowing the use of drugs by residents suffering from a serious illness, The New York Times reports.

New York has long been one of the most punitive states for drug offenders. The announcement would follow some 20 states that have eased restrictions on marijuana, including Colorado, where recreational use became legal on Jan. 1. However, New York’s proposal will allow only 20 hospitals statewide to prescribe marijuana to people afflicted with cancer, glaucoma and other diseases approved by the state’s Department of Health.

Though a Siena College survey last year found that 82 percent of New York residents approved the use of medical marijuana, four bills have passed the State Assembly only to get held up in the Senate.

Gov. Cuomo is expected to make the announcement Wednesday in his State of the State address. The state aims to put the proposal into practice this year, but it’s unclear on a timeline of when it would be available to patients.

[New York Times]

10 comments
andrew.andyz7
andrew.andyz7

Please make cannabis widely available. My dad, Andrew Zebrun Jr. served in WWII becoming gravely injured. I watched him suffer, and die of his wounds. A simple plant grown much like a tomato could've helped him. Please give our heroic veterans, and all suffering patients a healthy gift, cannabis, can, cure...

BrokeMYback
BrokeMYback

In NJ to get a permit to purchase you have to spend over $300 to establish a RELATIONSHIP with a doctor and be evaluated to prove your need. If I could jump through some hoops I wouldn't have a need to begin with. The fact that I have seen a pain management doctor for over 13 yrs. should be enough proof. If the states TRULY want to help the people who NEED it, it must be affordable or covered by insurance since most people in need are on fixed incomes. I truly wish the powers that be could WALK A MILE in my shoes. They would quit before the halfway mark and be SO ENLIGHTENED that I would receive it for free. Someone in pain shouldn't have to decide between paying the bills or a good nights sleep. I'm posting this at 3:30 am cuz I CAN'T SLEEP.

DavidStewart
DavidStewart

Freedom in the land of the free? How will this work?

DavidBecker
DavidBecker

The Cuomo administration continues its heartlessness toward people in pain. In 2012 Cuomo blocked a vote on Assemblywoman Rosenthals bill requiring doctors to have education in pain care. In 2013 he put Dr Foley on his medication awareness committee- she was under federal investigation for opioids. NYS remains one of the worst rated states in pain care- and NYC hospital were rated the worst in the NAtion in pain care. Doctors in NYS refuse to have education in pain care. Let us face the facts- Cuomos plan will allow access to less than 1% of NewYorkers that might benefit from marijuana-his real concern is not the public good but private profit.

PeterJamesHerz
PeterJamesHerz

Kind of ridiculous and sad -- would be like only allowing hospitals to prescribe asprin to stroke victims. 

charlesbeckley2
charlesbeckley2

That won't work.  No hospital or pharmacy will dispense marijuana until the federal law is repealed



BrokeMYback
BrokeMYback

This has NOTHING to do with freedom and EVERYTHING to do with COMPASSION & NEED. You want to use recreationally MOVE to the west coast cuz it will NEVER happen here in our lifetimes.

BrokeMYback
BrokeMYback

Of course they won't that is why they created dispensaries/ATC's so the Feds can RAID them. President Obama had 100 or so raided in his 1st 3yrs. NO ONE should have their life DESTROYED for seeking out PAIN RELIEF. The bigger problem is price, sure they will have a variety to chose from but for $200-$500 an ounce people will still seek it out illegally. The people who REALLY need it are unable to work a regular job if any at all. This is BEYOND ABSURDITY!!! To also TAX it for people who could have a slightly better day to day life??? The people in power are supposed to have some type of education but issues like this prove to the contrary. I take over $2000 in pain pills EVERY MONTH for over a decade and don't pay a dime for it. Yet I still am unable to sleep for days at a time and when I can sleep a few hours am usually awaken due to a nightmare and I will be denied the benefit since my condition is not TERMINAL. As I stated earlier this is BEYOND ABSURDITY.

dgorgeous25
dgorgeous25

@charlesbeckley2 There are currently about 20 states where the use of medical marijuana is legal--though illegal under Federal Law.

Duncan_20903
Duncan_20903

@dgorgeous25 yet no institutions who get Federal money or which are required to comply with Federal law where it is State legal will touch it in those States. Mr. beckley2 is correct. The reason that doctor's "recommend" rather than prescribe is because Federal law regulates what is, and who may write a prescription. Any doctor stupid enough to write a prescription for cannabis would be promptly stripped of his DEA number. Likewise, any pharmacy foolish enough to fill a prescription for cannabis would be promptly stripped of it's license to do business.  

For the most part the so called "medical marijuana" States don't actually recognize cannabis as a legitimate medicine, they simply carve out an exception for people who believe that it is and is why the use it. Oregon, Montana, D.C. and now Connecticut are the only so called "medical marijuana States which have rescheduled cannabis as a schedule II substance under their State Uniform Controlled Substances Act. Colorado may have completely de-scheduled cannabis but I haven't been able to verify that claim.  

Yes Virginia, every State in the Union maintains its own 5 naughty lists using the same criteria for scheduling as the Federal government.

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