Last week during his State of the State address New York Governor Andrew Cuomo (D) announced a medical marijuana pilot program. He is using an executive order to create a test program that will let 20 hospitals around the state provide medical marijuana only to seriously ill patients.
While the voters of New York support giving people access to medical marijuana, many don’t think this small program goes far enough. According to a new Siena College poll only 28 percent think the governor’s plan is the correct way to go. Instead, 49 percent think New York should go beyond a test program and instead just legalize medical marijuana similar to how several others states have done.
There are serious concerns that this small test program will not reach many of the people who could benefit significantly from the medical use of marijuana and the system could take a long time to get set up. After all, medical marijuana is not a new idea that needs a pilot program. It has been legally used in over a dozen states and several other countries for over a decade. The state can easily look elsewhere to find out what does and doesn’t work.
Even though New Yorkers want the state to go much further with medical marijuana they are not yet ready to embrace the legalization of recreational marijuana. The poll found 41 percent would support New York adopting a legalization law like Colorado’s while 54 percent would oppose it.