New York State to Allow Marijuana Use For Those With Serious Illnesses
By Joe Randazzo Published: January 05 2014
Governor Cuomo has loosened his stance on marijuana and will announce Wednesday 20 hospitals will soon prescribe it to patients with glaucoma and cancer.
New York State seems to be following the marijuana acceptance trend. According to the New York Times, Governor Andrew Cuomo has loosened his stance on it. On Wednesday he’s set to announce an executive action that 20 hospitals across New York State will prescribe marijuana to patients with serious illnesses chosen by the State’s Health Department.
Cuomo is bypassing legislation by using a health provision known as the Antonio G. Olivieri Controlled Substance Therapeutic Research Program. This provision allows for the use of a controlled substance when treating cancer, glaucoma, and any other disease approved by the Health Department’s commissioner. The law was inspired by Councilman Olivieri who died in 1980 of a brain tumor at the age of 39.
Olivieri is said to have used marijuana to overcome the pains of chemotherapy. He fought for medicinal legislation up until his death and it seems Cuomo has resurrected his fight.
While the mandate set forth by Cuomo is a step in the right direction for marijuana advocates, New York’s laws will still be more restrictive than Colorado’s. It’s still unknown when it will be dispensed to patients so those waiting to legally use it recreationally might have to wait longer.
The Governor’s stance on drug laws changed in 2013 when he backed the initiative to decriminalize marijuana possession when it comes to 15 grams or less. With elections coming up this year he will certainly gain support from marijuana advocates as 82% of New Yorkers are said to have approved of it in a survey done by Sienna College last May.
As of right now one of the Governor’s biggest issues is where New York state will be getting the marijuana. State and Federal laws prohibit growing it under any circumstance.