In his State of the State address, Gov. Andrew Cuomo offered new details today on the legalization of medical marijuana.
Cuomo will use an existing 1980 statutory authority through the state Health Department to “establish a program where qualified, eligible participants may seek relief for their symptoms in a safe and legal manner,” according to a briefing book provided to the Legislature.
Medical marijuana would be available at 20 hospitals to patients ” (1) with cancer, glaucoma and other diseases approved by the Commissioner of Health (ii) who are in a life-threatening or sense-threatening situation and (iii) have been certified by a physician as meeting these criteria.”
The program would be limited.
The briefing book said the program “will allow scientific research and evaluation into whether medical marijuana can be dispensed in an effective and controlled way without being abused.”
The state Health Department would develop the regulations and will be “subject to stringent research protocols and eligibility requirements.”
Some state lawmakers said they still want a law to legalize medical marijuana, saying the governor’s order would be too limited. For example, it might not allow medical marijuana for sick children.