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New York taking steps to become next state to legalize medical marijuana

Medical patient smokes cannabis at the Hadarim nursing home, on March 09, 2011 in Kibutz Naan, Israel, in conjunction with Israel's Health Ministry, while the United States is still working to legalize marijuana use in most states.
Medical patient smokes cannabis at the Hadarim nursing home, on March 09, 2011 in Kibutz Naan, Israel, in conjunction with Israel's Health Ministry, while the United States is still working to legalize marijuana use in most states.
Uriel Sinai/Getty Images

New York Governor, Andrew Cuomo is scheduled to announce his plans on how he is going to go about legalizing medical marijuana in New York during his State of the State address, Wednesday.

Governor Andrew Cuomo looking to legal marijuana in New York State
Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images

Cuomo will explain steps on how New Yorkers can get a hold of marijuana, but the steps will not be easy. Obtaining medical marijuana in the liberal state will have certain limitations. The Governor will also have the New York State Department of Health step in and assist with how medical marijuana should be distributed.

For one, medical marijuana will only be prescribed for persons in the Big Apple, for patients that can prove specific medical conditions that should fall under the new medical marijuana laws being formed in New York.

The New York medical marijuana laws will not be as easy as in the recently approved Colorado laws, where patients in Colorado can obtain marijuana for a simple “backache.” In New York, the Governor mentioned the laws will be far more restrictive.

This upcoming law comes to a surprise to many politicians and lawmakers, for Cuomo has always expressed disinterest and opposed to legalizing “pot” in New York. Although, Cuomo has also stated that he would keep an "open mind" on the issue as well as saying that the matter was an “evolving one.”

New York could soon be the next state legalizing medical marijuana, with most of the states in the west coast legalizing the drug first. New York could be the 21st state to use marijuana legally. At this time, there is no set timetable when this will happen.

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