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What you need to know for 10/18/2017

Albany Medical Center wants medical marijuana

Albany Medical Center wants medical marijuana

Albany Medical Center has expressed interest in participating in Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s medical marijua

Albany Medical Center has expressed interest in participating in Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s medical marijuana program, according to the state Department of Health.

The hospital is one of 10 statewide considering the potential option, including Montefiore Medical Center in New York City.

“Albany Med has an obligation to our patients to consider all safe and effective therapeutic options to cure illness or relieve symptoms,” said James Barba, president and CEO of Albany Medical Center.

Under Cuomo’s proposal, up to 20 hospitals in the state would be able to prescribe medical marijuana to patients with cancer or glaucoma. It is not clear how hospitals would receive the drug.

Cuomo is bypassing the state legislature and taking executive action to allow the drug in the state. He plans to revise a 1980 law enabling the state Health Department to approve controlled substances.

Until 2014, he was previously opposed to medical marijuana. He touted the plan during his State of the State Address in Albany earlier this month. There are 20 states in the nation that have legalized the drug.

In a Siena Research poll released on Monday, 28 percent of voters said they support Cuomo’s medical marijuana program. About half of the state residents polled said New York should legalize medical marijuana.

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