ALBANY N.Y. – New York Lawmakers recently passed a measure legalizing medical marijuana, and now the Department of Health has 18 months to fine-tune the details.
Some people say the waiting period is too long and full of opportunity for the Governor to reverse the vote.
Governor Andrew Cuomo mandated it be determined how medical marijuana will be regulated by the DOH.
Over the next year and a half, it will be decided how medical marijuana is to be regulated, how it will license doctors to prescribe the drug. The DOH will also determine how abusers are to be punished.
Apathetic towards those who are currently in need of pain relief, Governor Cuomo said that the process is a balance.
“You want to get people relief but you want to make sure the system has the confidence of the people of the state,” said Cuomo.
Cuomo says not all of the history of medical marijuana is good. However, he hopes to overcome issues other states have encountered before the drug is available.
Nancy Rivera, a four time cancer survivor, is an advocate for medical marijuana. She is passionate about the difference it can make in the people’s lives.
Rivera says it is hard to accept that putting into fruition the use of the drug will take longer than imagined. She explained that medical marijuana has a proven track record and that the governor is “looking for ways to back out of the program.”
“If we believe there are fundamental problems in the system, we can shut down the entire system,” said Cuomo.
Hopeful the use of medical marijuana will begin after the 18 month span, Cuomo has the ability to personally pull a doctor’s license at any time if he believes there is wrong-doing.
While the bill was passed in the senate and legislature, Cuomo still needs to sign the bill into law.