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Thursday, January 9, 2014

New York's Strict Medical Marijuana Guidelines

English: Medical Marijuana surrounding a vapor...
New York Governor Cuomo, who opposed medical marijuana programs in the past, will now allow some patients with serious illnesses access to medical marijuana. Governor Andrew Cuomo says that research suggests medical marijuana can help patients with cancer and other illnesses to manage their pain, The Wall Street Journal reports.

New York will be different than the other 21 states and the District of Columbia that allow medical marijuana. Medical marijuana will be dispensed by only 20 hospitals throughout the state, guidelines developed by the Department of Health, according to the article.

State Director of the marijuana advocacy group the Drug Policy Alliance, Gabriel Sayegh, told the Journal, “We all understand that it’s not the solution that’s needed but it will ensure that when that law passes the state will already have begun building the infrastructure to get the best care to patients in New York.”

Smart Approaches to Marijuana, founded by the former Rhode Island Congressman Patrick Kennedy, a group that advocates for strict regulation of the drug, said it should be approved by the Food and Drug Administration, rather than states.

Under the New York guidelines, only patients with severe health problems will have access to the controversial medicine. In many states where medical marijuana programs exist, people can get a recommendation for minor health problems that probably do not warrant such measures to be taken.
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