NY: Health Department Airs Out Proposal That Would Put Medical Marijuana In Schools


Albany – Back to school supplies could soon include medical marijuana under a proposal put forward by Gov. Cuomo’s administration.

Looking at ways to expand New York’s fledgling medical cannabis program, the state Health Department wants to give schools a way to “possess, secure, and administer medical marijuana products under limited circumstances.”

The proposal was part of a dozen recommendations quietly posted by the Health Department on its website that also included allowing nurse practitioners to certify patients for the medical pot, approving five additional marijuana growers over the next two years and adding “chronic intractable pain” to the list of conditions approved for marijuana use.

“People got paid to come up with these ideas?” said State Sen. Martin Golden (R-Brooklyn). “I think the last place (medical marijuana) belongs is in our schools.”

Medical marijuana advocates hailed the recommendations as much needed steps to improve access to the drug and they noted that some seriously ill children depend on the drug but, under current law, are unable to take it at school.

“We are not talking about anyone coming into a school smoking raw plant materials,” said Kate Hintz of Compassionate Care New York. “These are tinctures or pills.”

In a statement, the Health Department said the recommendations were still “under review” and further steps would be announced in the next two weeks.

“The recommendations are based on the agency’s experience over the past seven months and information obtained from doctors, patients and caregivers,” the department said.

New York launched its medical marijuana program in January with five companies licensed to grow and distribute the product. Each company is allowed to operate four dispensaries.

So far, 667 physicians have been approved to prescribe the drug and 6,834 patients have been certified to receive it.

State Sen. Diane Savino (D-Staten Island), who sponsored the legislation that legalized medical marijuana in New York, said the new recommendations would eliminate barriers to people receiving the drug.

“I think every one of them is a smart move,” Savino said.

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Full Article: State Health Department Airs Out Proposal That Would Put Medical Marijuana In Schools
Author: Glenn Blain
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