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Gov. considers legalizing medical marijuana
ALBANY -- Governor Andrew Cuomo wants to bring back an old state
In his State of the State address earlier this month, Governor Andrew Cuomo said he would sign an executive order that would reignite an old state law allowing marijuana for medical use. The law is very strict only allowing 20 hospitals to dispense the drug and limiting the type of marijuana that can be used.
Where the pot will come from is still a mystery.
There are two options Cuomo is weighing; one would be import the drug from a college, out of state, grown for medical purposes. The other proposal is to use seized marijuana from police around the state.
Weed used from seized drug busts would be examined by the state`s health department before being administered, an official in the Governor`s office said Tuesday.
When asked about the plan for obtaining weed--for medical use-- a spokesman in Cuomo`s office said the planning is in the preliminary stages. The Governor signing the executive order could be "months away".
Advocates for medical marijuana were are the Capital earlier this week calling for a more comprehensive bill allowing the drug to be used for medical reasons. Two changes from the old state law proponents of medical marijuana want to see are expanding the number of hospitals where the drug can be dispensed and expanding the number of strands of the drug that can be used for medical use.
On Tuesday the Assembly Health Committee passed a bill that would expand both where pot can be dispensed for medical uses and what type of the drug can be used.
Assemblyman Dick Gottfried, D- NYC, sponsored the bill that would call for New York State to grow it`s own pot for medical use. Many of the 19 other states that allow medical marijuana grown their own pot, Gottfried said.
"(They) produce very specialized strains of the product that are targeted to particular illnesses and conditions." said Gottfried.
However, passing a bill may be a pipe dream as many state GOP lawmakers still oppose marijuana, even for medical reasons.
Assemblyman David DiPietro, R- East Aurora, said Tuesday expanding medical marijuana, over and above the Governor`s executive order, would open a can of worms.
DiPietro voted against the bill in the Assembly Health Committee hearing.
"Make no bones about it this is not all about just helping some kids that are having serious medical problems this is about legalization of marijuana use down the road." DiPietro said.