ILLUSTRATED BY GABRIELA ALFORD.
When a fire begins to burn, it is hard to stop it from spreading. Hopping on the bandwagon of U.S. states going green in the past year, New York is allegedly set to legalize medical marijuana in 2014. It isn't breaking any ground here, since 20 other states, including California and Colorado, have long had laws allowing the medicinal uses of the herb. But, the new development is interesting because NY has been one of the most punitive states for both possession and dealing of the substance. The recent remarks from Albany are a definite game-changer.
Now, New York may have been founded by the Dutch, but it is in no way headed for Amsterdam; it appears the legalization will be limited. Governor Andrew Cuomo is expected to authorize the use of medical marijuana in just 20 hospitals statewide, USA Today reports. While medical MJ cardholders in California can toke up for something as simple as a backache, the NY laws will restrict marijuana use to patients with serious diseases that meet standards to be set by the New York State Department of Health.
Regardless of its limitations, this is a big step forward for New York and for Cuomo, who has previously and vocally opposed medical marijuana. It is still too early to say when the substance will become available to patients, but once the policy is in full effect, New York will be the 21st state to legalize medicinal use of the herb. (USA Today)