Governor Cuomo Reportedly Set to Allow Medical Marijuana in New York

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Photo: Chris Hondros/2010 Getty Images

The New York Times reports that Governor Andrew Cuomo is planning to announce an executive action executive action next week that will allow the use of medical marijuana in New York. But recreational users — or just those with back pain — shouldn't get too excited. The Times says that the distribution of legal weed will be limited to just twenty hospitals, which will only prescribe it for "cancer, glaucoma or other diseases that meet standards to be set by the New York State Department of Health."

The goal is to have "the infrastructure in place this year to begin dispensing medical marijuana, although it is too soon to say when it will actually be available to patients." This represents a significant shift for Cuomo, who has long opposed the idea of legalizing pot in any form. However, a source familiar with his thinking told the Times that his change of heart is "rooted in his belief that the program he has drawn up can help those in need, while limiting the potential for abuse." Plus, Cuomo, who is up for election this year and is said to harbor presidential aspirations, probably couldn't help but notice that 82 percent of New York residents think medical marijuana is a good idea.