Reports: N.Y. governor issues executive order allowing medical marijuana

Marijuana for medical uses can be prescribed at up to 20 hospitals in state, according to reports

NEW YORK — New York state has begun to legalize medical use of marijuana, albeit in limited form, according to published reports.

Currently, 20 states and the District of Columbia allow the dispensing of marijuana for medical use, two of which — Colorado and Washington — have legalized recreational use, while Maryland allows medical use as a legal defense in criminal cases.

The New York provision, an executive order by Gov. Andrew Cuomo, would allow prescribing of medical marijuana at up to 20 hospitals in the state, making its scope far more limited than in other states, where medical marijuana is allowed under statutory law and is usually sold in special dispensaries, according to reports. The New York Times reported that Cuomo would use the Antonio G. Olivieri Controlled Substance Therapeutic Research Program, which allows such medical conditions as cancer and glaucoma to be treated using controlled substances.

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