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New York State Will Loosen Marijuana Laws

andrew-cuomo-schumer-2By Paul Szoldra From Business Insider

N.Y. Gov. Andrew Cuomo plans to announce executive action that would loosen marijuana laws in the state, officials tell Susanne Craig and Jesse McKinley of The New York Times.

From The Times:

Mr. Cuomo’s plan will be far more restrictive than the laws in Colorado or California, where medical marijuana is available to people with conditions as mild as backaches. It will allow just 20 hospitals across the state to prescribe marijuana to patients with cancer, glaucoma or other diseases that meet standards to be set by the New York State Department of Health.

While Mr. Cuomo’s measure falls well short of full legalization, it nonetheless moves New York, long one of the nation’s most punitive states for those caught using or dealing drugs, a significant step closer to policies being embraced by marijuana advocates and lawmakers elsewhere.

The news comes just days after the first legal sales of marijuana in Colorado took place on New Year’s Day. Recreational marijuana became legal under Amendment 64 to Colorado’s state constitution last November, making it legal for marijuana shops to operate within the state.

If the move in New York goes forward, the state would join others in parting ways with the federal law, which still bans the possession and sale of marijuana.

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