Albany - (WALK) New York may soon join 20 states who permit the prescription and medicinal use of marijuana. Governor Andrew Cuomo is expected to introduce an initiative during his State of the State address on Wednesday, according to administration officials.
Cuomo would circumvent the legislative process and use the administrative powers of his office to implement the plan, according to published accounts, and New York's medical marijuana program would be "limited and restrictive," and subject to standards imposed by the New York State Health Department.
In states where medical marijuana is permitted, it is frequently prescribed for relief of chronic pain, and to relieve nausea and restore appetite for patients using other drugs to treat conditions including cancer.
If enacted New York would be the 21st state to approve medical marijuana, those states include neighbors New Jersey and Connecticut.
Proponents of the measure say it's an issue of compassion, opponents express concern about wider availability of the drug to the general population and it's potential impact on young people.
Photo: (California Medicinal Marijuana Dispensary) Coaster420