Marijuana Group Rips into Cuomo’s Medical-Marijuana Plan

by Betsy Woodruff

A prominent group in favor of marijuana legalization has torn into the medical-marijuana proposal that Governor Andrew Cuomo is expected to lay out today in his state-of-the-state Address. Marijuana Policy Project director of state policies Karen O’Keefe ripped his plan in a press release.

“If the governor and legislators agree that medical marijuana can help people battle serious illnesses, they can and should adopt a system that will actually allow them to use it,” she said.

And Cuomo’s plan, per MPP, won’t do that. Instead, MPP expects the program — which reports indicate will let some hospitals give marijuana they receive from the federal government (or, if that doesn’t work, confiscated marijuana) to some patients — to be “unworkable and problematic.” They give a host of reasons for this. Among them: Hospitals, which are federally regulated, usually don’t want to break federal law (and marijuana is still federally illegal). Also, the program would actually cost the state money, instead of generating tax revenue. And the bureaucratic hoops patients and hospitals would have to jump through to get medical marijuana from the federal government are nigh insurmountable.

O’Keefe tells NRO that the proposal “creates good headlines” but doesn’t do much else. In short, it pays lip service to a popular idea but would do precious little to actually help New Yorkers who could benefit from access to medical marijuana. A request for comment to Cuomo’s office wasn’t returned.

 

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