September 1, 2014
NEW YORK (AP) - New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo has hopped on a wave of popular opinion by opening a door to medical marijuana in the nation's third-largest state. But the plan he unveiled this week is cautious.
Nearly two dozen states have OK'd marijuana for medicinal purposes. And Colorado and Washington have legalized its use for pleasure.
Meanwhile, Cuomo is tapping a 1980 state law to empower as many as 20 hospitals to dispense the drug to people with certain severe illnesses. It's a research project to test whether pot can be effectively used as medicine without being abused.
Medical marijuana advocates are frustrated he didn't go further. But experts say the plan may be a politically astute and scientifically sensitive move on an issue that boasts more popular enthusiasm than extensive research.