- The Washington Times - Monday, January 6, 2014

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo is poised to issue an executive order to legalize medical marijuana for those residents with serious health problems.

He’s expected to announce his executive action on Wednesday, during his State of the State address, The New York Times reported. But the state isn’t likely to become the Colorado of the East. Where newly implemented Colorado law lets residents age 21 or older buy and smoke the weed for recreational purposes, New York will maintain strict controls.

Only 20 hospitals will be allowed to administer the marijuana treatment, The Times reported. And pot prescriptions will only be given to those patients who have cancer, glaucoma or other serious and specific illnesses.

Still, the new freedom is significant, given that the state legislature has opposed such bills for years.

Mr. Cuomo’s plan would invoke a law from 1980 that allowed marijuana therapy for research into treatments for patients with life-threatening health problems. Mr. Cuomo may execute the law by order, but the city Health Department would still have to create the text for the final regulations, The Times reported.