NEW YORK: New York is one of the only states in the Northeast without a medical marijuana program.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo was opposed to medical marijuana, and attempts to create a law have failed to get through the state Senate for years.
Now Cuomo has reversed himself, proposing a medical marijuana research program run under exacting federal guidelines that would be the most restrictive in the country.
Cuomo is bypassing the legislature, taking executive action to revise a 1980 law allowing the drug for research.
“We’ll establish a program allowing up to 20 hospitals to prescribe medical marijuana,” he said in his State of the State speech last week. “We will monitor the program to evaluate the effectiveness and the feasibility of a medical marijuana system.”
Cuomo knows his constituents: Some polls show 80 percent of New Yorkers support medical marijuana, Democrats and Republicans. Doctors are more divided, with some saying medical use of marijuana is untested.