Better late than never. This seems to be the dictum that the state of New York seems to be following as they join a growing number of US States that have loosened the laws on marijuana. New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo revealed plans to declare an executive order allowing the use, albeit on a limited basis, of marijuana for those afflicted with serious ailments.
The change of heart by Cuomo, who has long been an adversary of medical marijuana advocates, have come as many other states have taken liberal action on this matter. The latest state to have made recreational marijuana legal was the state of Colorado, which declared marijuana legal to use at the start of this year. It was reported that thousands have rushed to Colorado to avail of the this now ?legal? substance in the past few days of 2014.
Mr. Cuomo’s plan, as released by state officials, will however be not so ?liberal?. It will not even be close to the laws enacted in California where medical marijuana can be prescribed to individuals that have a backache. New York will only allow twenty hospitals in the state to prescribe medical marijuana to those who have serious ailments like glaucoma, cancer and diseases that are qualified according to the standards outlined by the Department of Health of New York State.
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Video: Should Marijuana Be Legal in New York? (Richard French / YouTube)
Still, many advocates and lawmakers who are pushing for further loosening of marijuana laws see this move as a good start to full legalization. New York has been cited as one of the most restrictive states who impose harsh penalties for those caught using and / or dealing illegal drugs, marijuana included.
The state plans to have the complete system and infrastructure of dispensing medical marijuana set up within the year although it could not give an exact date on when it can be available to those who are sick.
Political analysts have taken a keen interest in this development as they noted that the decision of Gov. Cuomo, a Democrat, came at a time when neighboring state New Jersey has also implemented a Democrat approved medical marijuana law (by then Gov. Jon S. Corzine), but only when the current Governor, Chris Christie ( a leading Republican presidential contender) watered down the law limiting its distribution (banning deliveries to homes and requiring those in need of it to prove that they have tried all other medical treatments).
As of this writing, New Jersey state officials said that the first medical marijuana dispensary (out of the planned six) has been officially opened.
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