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NY To Give The Critically Ill Faster Access To Medical Pot

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WAMC composite image by Dave Lucas
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New York will give patients with certain serious illnesses faster access to medical marijuana as the state works out the details of its full medical cannabis program.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed legislation Wednesday that will speed up access to the drug for people facing degenerative diseases and the threat of serious health risks. Under the measure the state will work with regulated producers who can provide marijuana to patients as soon as possible.

New York's medical marijuana program is expected to be operational in January — a full 18 months after lawmakers approved it.

People with AIDS, terminal cancers and the parents of children with severe epilepsy have long sought early access, arguing that critically ill individuals shouldn't have to wait any longer.

Copyright 2015 The Associated Press.

Dave Lucas is WAMC’s Capital Region Bureau Chief. Born and raised in Albany, he’s been involved in nearly every aspect of local radio since 1981. Before joining WAMC, Dave was a reporter and anchor at WGY in Schenectady. Prior to that he hosted talk shows on WYJB and WROW, including the 1999 series of overnight radio broadcasts tracking the JonBenet Ramsey murder case with a cast of callers and characters from all over the world via the internet. In 2012, Dave received a Communicator Award of Distinction for his WAMC news story "Fail: The NYS Flood Panel," which explores whether the damage from Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee could have been prevented or at least curbed. Dave began his radio career as a “morning personality” at WABY in Albany.
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