Albany Med considering being hub for medical marijuana - NEWS10 ABC: Albany, New York News, Weather, Sports

Albany Med considering being hub for medical marijuana

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ALBANY, N.Y. - Albany Medical Center is showing signs that it is willing to consider being a hub for medical marijuana.

These signs are on the heels of Governor Andrew Cuomo endorsing medical marijuana being brought to New York State.

Cuomo wants the State Department of Health to first study the drug's effectiveness, before implementing a medical cannabis policy. As many as 20 hospitals would be allowed to dispense the controlled substance, under Cuomo's plan.

President  & CEO James Barba is indicating Albany Medical Center would throw it's hat in the ring to be one of the 20 hospitals. Although, Barba wasn't available for an on camera interview, he emailed NEWS10ABC a statement which read "Albany Medical Center has an obligation to our patients to consider all safe and effective therapeutic options. As such, we will explore further the potential benefits to patients of New York's controlled substance therapeutic program for medical marijuana..."

It remains uncertain how hospitals would work around federal laws that consider marijuana a Schedule-1 narcotic, the same category as heroin.

"What we're talking about probably doesn't even resemble what most people are thinking in their minds on a physical level," explained Susanne Truesdale with Compassionate Care of New York. "We're talking about liquid medications that have no street value and that are pharmaceutical quality."

Compassionate Care of New York is working toward full legalization of medical marijuana.

Truesdale said medical marijuana as close by as Albany Med could literally be a lifesaver for many people with debilitating diseases.

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