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Medical Marijuana Expected to be be Legalized in New York

Christopher Furlong-Getty Images

In the not too far future, New York residents might be legally allowed to indulge in medical marijuana,but there’s a catch.

The catch is that the agreement will only cover non-smokeable forms of marijuana. A plan was announced by Governor Andrew Cuomo on Thursday to allow patients suffering from cancer, AIDS, epilepsy and other ailments to get prescriptions for non-smokeable forms of marijuana.

Governor Cuomo said the agreement is “the best of both worlds,” adding, “There are certainly significant medical benefits that can be garnered. At the same time, it’s a difficult issue because there are also risks that have to be averted, public-health risks, public-safety rises, and we believe this bill strikes the right balance.”

Here’s are some details on the medical-marijuana program expected to be approved:

• Medical marijuana would be available to patients with cancer, HIV/AIDS, Lou Gehrig’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, significant damage to the nervous tissue of the spinal cord, epilepsy, inflammatory bowel disease, neuropathies, Huntington’s disease and other conditions added at the discretion of the state Department of Health.

• Only doctors certified by the state Department of Health will be able to prescribe marijuana. It will be grown in New York in five locations and dispensed at 20 outlets.

• Only non-smokeable forms of marijuana will be allowed.

• The drug will be taxed at 7 percent of gross sales, with proceeds split between the state and the counties where the drug was sold and manufactured.

• The program will expire after seven years, though the governor could suspend it on the advice of state police or the Department of Health.

How do you feel about this? Do you think legalizing non-smokeable forms of marijuana for the sick is a good idea or a bad one?

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