New York State voted today to legalize medical marijuana for people with extreme medical needs. However, patients will not be able to smoke it.

Instead, the natural drug will have to be consumed via edibles, tinctures, pills, or inhaled through the use of vaporizers, states the Compassionate Care Act. New York Governor Andrew Cuomo made the no smoking rule a key demand of the legislation, which will be put in place soon.

Even though Governor Cuomo is allowing for medical marijuana, advocates of the drug were still not pleased. They want looser rules concerning the drug. However, Governor Cuomo paid no heed to those complaints, and added in a clause to the Compassionate Care Act that would allow for the medical marijuana program to be shut down at any time if State Police of the Department of Health find that people are abusing the drug.

“We can try to tweak a bill forever, and we can be here not passing any legislation because we don’t have a perfect bill,” said Sen. Ted O’Brien, D-Irondequoit, Monroe County. “But the fact of the matter for me remains this: People are suffering right now. That suffering can be alleviated as soon as we make this available to them.”

On top of that, the list of approved medical conditions is shorter than it should be, some marijuana advocates have complained. The list approves of people with the following ailments to be able to receive medical marijuana:

  • Cancer
  • HIV/AIDS
  • ALS (Lou Gehrig’s Disease)
  • Parkinson’s Disease
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Damage to the nervous tissue of the spinal cord
  • Epilepsy
  • Inflammatory bowel disease
  • Neuropathies
  • Huntington’s Disease.

The legislation will take effect directly after the governor signs it into law. However, the implementation of it could take up to 18 months, depending on various factors.

New York is the 23rd state to approve of medical marijuana. All the marijuana given to patients will have a 7 percent sales tax and will be grown in NY.

Sources: USA Today, The Verge

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