New York’s Medical Marijuana Program Will Be Nation’s Most Restrictive


New York state’s medical marijuana plan is a research program run under exacting federal guidelines that would be the most restrictive in the nation, reports NPR. “We’ll establish a program allowing up to 20 hospitals to prescribe medical marijuana,” Gov. Andrew Curomo 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.”

Critics note that the 1980 New York law under which Cuomo is establishing the program only allows the use of marijuana grown at a research farm run by the National Institute on Drug Abuse at the University of Mississippi, or marijuana seized by law enforcement. Gabriel Sayegh of the Drug Policy Alliance says those sources won’t be sufficient to test a variety of strains of the plant to treat a variety of conditions. In Colorado and Maine, “they’re growing over 100 different strains of marijuana for patients so they can find the right kind of medicine for their needs,” Sayegh says. “There is a big question here: Where is the marijuana going to come from? What will the protocols be?”

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