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Andrew Cuomo may back medical marijuana

The move is a reversal for New York’s governor.


The move is a reversal for New York’s governor.

ALBANY, N.Y. — Governor Andrew Cuomo will lay out a vision for the last year of his first term on Wednesday and is expected to push for state spending limits, propose new property tax relief, and announce a surprise reversal on medical marijuana.

With high poll ratings and a campaign bank account of more than $28 million, the Democrat is expected to repeat in his State of the State address some other recent themes like closing or revamping failing schools. Cuomo has also recently emphasized continuing an overall 2 percent limit on spending growth and applying savings to help New Yorkers offset local property taxes.

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Aides have not said much so far, though advocates got word Saturday that Cuomo will allow limited use of medical marijuana, something he has previously opposed.

He is expected to use an administrative order, not legislation, to permit some hospitals to dispense the drug for certain ailments.

Marijuana is commonly prescribed for chronic pain, nausea from cancer chemotherapy, glaucoma, and some other conditions.

Other controlled substances like narcotics are already authorized for medical use in New York.

Although one advocate described the move as a good first step, it may keep Cuomo at odds with lawmakers pressing for more liberal marijuana policies.

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