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Cuomo not to sign medical marijuana bill
NEW YORK (WENY) -- Governor Andrew Cuomo chose not to sign off on the bill to legalize medical marijuana in New York State. That's because he has concerns over how the drug would be regulated.
Cuomo wants to ban smoking the drug and wants to change the amount of marijuana given to patients monthly. The current bill allows for a patient to receive 2.5 ounces of marijuana, which is approximately 150 to 200 joints.
He is concerned the excessive amount will get in the wrong hands, and particularly in the hands of minors. Cuomo also wants a provision that would stop the sale of marijuana if it causes a public safety risk.
I talked to Angela Sullivan, of the Alcohol and Drug Council of Tompkins County. She says the governor has some valid concerns, as the bill could have unintended consequences. “Each of the states that there is medical marijuana have pretty high diversion rates meaning marijuana is getting into the public and getting into use by youth in particular. And that of course is one of our main concerns.”
Bill sponsors have begun making changes to address the governor's concerns. Those changes included ensuring only doctors could prescribe the drug and limited the monthly dosage to a maximum of two ounces. Cuomo is currently in closed-door meetings with legislative leaders to continue progress.