New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Monday that he had signed the Compassionate Care Act into law, making New York the 23rd state to legalize medical marijuana.
The legislation allows doctors to prescribe certain forms of marijuana for a list of conditions which include HIV/AIDS, epilepsy, ALS, multiple sclerosis, spinal cord injuries, neuropathy, irritable bowel syndrome, Parkinson’s and Huntington’s disease.
“There is no doubt that medical marijuana can help people. It’s been proven in other states, there’s a whole history of information and data and research just on that topic,” Cuomo said during Monday’s press conference.
“We’re here to help people and if there is a medical advancement, then we want to make sure that we’re bringing it to New Yorkers.”
Gov. Cuomo called the state’s medical marijuana system the “smartest approach” any state has adopted so far.
Under the Compassionate Care Act, which was passed by the state Legislature in late June, marijuana cannot be smoked. Instead, cannabis will be administered to patients as oils and edibles or through the use of a vaporizer.
The New York Department of Health will be responsible for overseeing doctors, patients, and dispensaries that participate in the program.
The department also holds the power to suspend the program or add more medical conditions to the law at any time.[CNN] [Reuters] [DNAinfo]