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Training Course Required For Doctors Who Prescribe Medical Marijuana

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New York state will require physicians to complete an educational course before they can authorize medical marijuana for patients. The mandate is generally not applied to new drugs or seen in other states with medical marijuana programs.

The 4.5-hour online training course will cost doctors $250.

Officials say training will help physicians understand the drug when the state's medical marijuana program begins in January. But some patient advocates say the inconvenience could discourage physicians from participating, ultimately limiting patient access.

Craig Blinderman of Columbia University Medical Center says doctors need information on marijuana but that only "the most motivated" will complete the training.

Many states with medical marijuana laws require physicians to register but do not require them to pay for special training.

Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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