Recently, Gov. Andrew Cuomo of New York announced his plan to allow 20 hospitals state-wide to dispense medical marijuana to patients with cancer, AIDS and other severe illnesses. Gov. Cuomo’s proposal differs vastly from medical marijuana dispensation systems in other states. In other states licensed and independent producers dispense medical marijuana according to the recommendations of health care professionals.
Critics point out that the administration has not revealed which 20 hospitals would dispense the drug, or how the State would even obtain the drug. Some supporters of Gov. Cuomo’s proposal, such as Gabriel Sayegh, state director for Drug Policy Alliance, suggest that a more “comprehensive system” is required in order to make the proposal a reality. Gov. Cuomo’s current proposal is complicated by the fact that the federal government considers marijuana illegal. Some question whether having hospitals dispense an illegal drug would jeopardize the hospitals’ federal funding.
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