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Larissa Doucette

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo plans to announce an executive action that would permit limited prescribing of medical marijuana in up to 20 hospitals within the state. According to The New York Times, Cuomo will utilize a 1980 public health provision, the Antonio G. Olivieri Controlled Substance Therapeutic Research Program, to implement his plan without approval of the state legislature. The provision allows patients receiving care for cancer, glaucoma, and other conditions – as approved by the New York State Department of Health – to be treated with controlled substances. Before the system can be put into effect, the state must first select the hospitals that will be allowed to participate in a way that promotes regional diversity while giving preference to hospitals performing treatment research for cancer, glaucoma, and any other illnesses approved for treatment under the plan. As noted by The New York Times, state and federal laws prohibit growing marijuana, meaning the state would also need to find an alternative supply of the drug. The governor is expected to formally announce his plan at the annual State of the State address on Wednesday, January 8, 2014.