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Cuomo to announce legalizing medical marijuana this week
ALBANY -- Governor Andrew Cuomo is expected to touch on several hot button issues in his state of the state speech Wednesday, including politically funded campaigns, ethics reform deal, and tax cuts. But perhaps the most controversial, legalizing medical marijuana, which he's expected to announce this week.
Cuomo would use administrative powers rather than legislative action to allow a limited number of hospitals to use marijuana to treat certain ailments.The New York Times broke the news Saturday, and it has people here in the Capital Region speaking out.
"I guess I'm opposed to it, I don't feel that's a necessary step that New York State has to take right at this point," said Darren Rossi of Colonie.
"If they want to smoke Marijuana then they should be able to for health purposes, I mean I'm for it," adds Kyle Buckley of Schuylerville.
As of right now, the drug is still illegal in New York, but possession of small amounts has been reduced to a low-level violation carrying with it a fine.According to the Associated Press the State Drug Policy Alliance was briefed on Cuomo's plan. Patients would have to have a condition approved by the state Department of Health before they're prescribe the drug.
Some locals claim that more comes into play than just treating those that are ill
"You also have to think about, are you allowed to drive when you have marijuana and things like that so I'm not sure if I'm for it or against it at this point. There are other laws that also need to be passed, who can use it, who can not and then driving implications and stuff like that," says Beep Mehdaji of Schenectady.
If legalizing medicinal marijuana does become reality, New York would be the 21st state in the nation to do so.