New York is about to become the 23rd state in the nation to legalize the use of medical marijuana.
Under the agreement reached Thursday, doctors would have to undergo training before prescribing the drug, and the state health department would oversee the program.
One key point in the agreement will keep New Yorkers from smoking the drug – it must be administered through an oil-base or vaporizer.
Other than that, Evan Nison with the New York Cannabis Alliance says the measure is right on par with other states.
“Aside from the fact that there’s no smoking, it does sort of fit in line with the restrictiveness of medical marijuana laws, such as Connecticut, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania, which is probably going to pass soon.” Nison said.
Governor Andrew Cuomo had expressed concerns about the drug getting into the hands of people who didn’t need it for medical purposes. The deal allows Cuomo to pull the plug on the medical marijuana program at any time.
Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver says an overwhelming majority of New Yorkers support medical marijuana use, and says the drug is needed.
“With this agreement, we’re assuring access to that much-needed relief, while ensuring the tightest possible regulation and state supervision,” Silver said.