Gov. Andrew Cuomo plans to institute a system for distributing medical marijuana at a few select hospitals in the state, according to a New York Times report that ran this weekend.
According to the Times, only 20 hospitals in the state would be allowed to dispense the medical marijuana.
Cuomo would make the change with an executive action through the Antonio G. Olivieri Controlled Substance Therapeutic Research Program, a law enabling marijuana and other controlled substance to be administered to cancer patients, glaucoma patients and patients afflicted with other diseases approved by the state health commissioner.
Although a bill that would allow for the administration of medical marijuana already passed the Assembly, it still needed approval from the state Senate and Gov. Cuomo.
"As a co-sponsor of the State Assembly's bill to permit medical marijuana, and someone who voted for the bill this past year, I very much support Governor Cuomo's initiative,” state Assemblyman David Buchwald, D-White Plains, said in a statement. “It is time that we recognize that people with debilitating and often terminal illnesses deserve compassion. If medical marijuana can relieve some of the suffering of these patients, we should make sure they have access in a safe and orderly way."
In a New York Post article that ran earlier today, Westchester County Executive Robert Astorino expressed concern that Cuomo’s initiative could open the door for increased drug abuse. Astorino has expressed his interest in running as the Republican candidate against Cuomo in this year’s governor’s race.Said Astorino: “With so many people out of work and fleeing our state, this is tops on the governor’s to-do list?”