CBS New York (con’t)
Affordable Care Act Updates: CBSNewYork.com/ACA
Health News & Information: CBSNewYork.com/Health
NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) – New York is now the 23rd state in the country to authorize marijuana as a medical treatment, though the state will have one of the more restrictive programs in the U.S.
Under legislation signed into law on Saturday by Gov. Andrew Cuomo, patients with one of 10 diseases will be able to obtain non-smokeable versions of the drug. Instead, the drug must be ingested or administered through a vaporizer or oil base.
The governor is expected to hold a formal signing ceremony for the new law on Monday in New York City.
Cuomo opposed allowing medical pot in plant form, saying the drug could have ended up in the wrong hands. The compromise was one of the final measures passed by lawmakers before they adjourned last month.
“We wanted to do it, but we wanted to do it right and that was the balance we had to find in this piece of legislation,” Cuomo told WCBS 880 last month. “And I think we did. It is a system that will provide the benefits to people we need it, which can be significant, but it is a system that also has safeguards.”
The first medication isn’t expected to be available for at least 18 months as state regulators, physicians and potential distributors of the drug work to implement the new program.
Under the law, the state will approve and regulate up to five businesses authorized to grow and distribute the drug. The operators could each have up to four dispensaries statewide.
Patients would get prescriptions from physicians approved by the state to participate in the program.
Approved conditions include AIDS, Lou Gehrig’s disease, Parkinson’s Disease, multiple sclerosis, certain spinal cord injuries, epilepsy, inflammatory bowel disease, neuropathies and Huntington’s Disease.
Patients who sell their prescribed marijuana could face a misdemeanor. Patients would be required to carry registration cards showing they are authorized to possess the drug and can be prescribed a maximum 30-day supply.
Cuomo also noted that he personally could shut down the entire program if it does not work out.
“If we believe at any point the risks outweigh the rewards, we have the ability to shut the system down, and I have that ability personally to shut the system down,” the governor said.
Check Out These Other Stories From CBSNewYork.com:
(TM and © Copyright 2014 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2014 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)
This entry passed through the Full-Text RSS service — if this is your content and you’re reading it on someone else’s site, please read the FAQ at fivefilters.org/content-only/faq.php#publishers.