An agreement between the state Senate and Assembly on whether to legalize medical marijuana in New York is due before midnight Monday in order to be voted on before the legislative session ends later this week. But Gov. Cuomo has outlined a series of concerns to lawmakers that must be addressed before he’ll even consider signing the bill, the Daily News has learned.
In order to allow the legislation to age the legally-required three days for a vote before the session ends Thursday, a bill must be negotiated and printed by the end of Monday, though one Cuomo aide said the governor would be willing to waive the three-day requirement if a deal is reached later in the week.
Changes the governor requires (according to NY Daily News)
- Cuomo wants to bar the smoking and sharing of medical pot: allowing people to smoke the drug while there are other options like vaporization, pills and food form would send the wrong message after the state has spent big money on anti-smoking measures over the years.
- Cuomo has also told the Legislature that he wants to classify as a felony the crime of fraudulently seeking or prescribing the drug.
- Cuomo would cut down on the 20 chronic illnesses the Legislature wants to be able to treat with marijuana
- Cuomo would allow doctors to prescribe pot in one-month doses that would be decided by the physicians (not physician assistants and nurse practitioners)
- Patients who were approved in other states for medical marijuana could not carry that approval into New York. They would have to re-register.
- Cuomo would also do away with the one-year phase in that lawmakers have pushed, believing it’s too short a time frame.
- Cuomo wants to limit the registered dispensary organizations to five, with each one required to operate four dispensaries in different parts of the state to ensure there is easy access statewide
- Cuomo wants the governor to have the power to suspend any medical marijuana program if it is advised by the state Health commissioner or superintendent of state police.
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