Pubdate: Tue, 04 Feb 2014
Source: News-Item, The (PA)
Copyright: 2014 The News Item
Author: Michael Virtanen, Associated Press
Page: 2


ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) - New York's health commissioner told lawmakers on
Monday that he expects the state trial of medical marijuana to be up
and running within a year.

Dr. Nirav Shah, testifying before a legislative budget committee, said
that the research is intended to examine the drug's effectiveness in
patient treatment, for example with pain in stages of cancer. The goal
is to provide evidence of value not only for New York but for the
country, he said.

The Cuomo administration has proposed a limited initiative to
authorize medical marijuana use by patients at 20 hospitals. Shah said
Monday many hospitals have shown interest and it will use marijuana
provided by the federal government.

"Using federal sources for product, we can get it up and running
within a year," Shah said.

Some legislators questioned the need for further study, noting that
nearly half the states and many countries have studied and now allow
its use.

"There are patients suffering right now in New York," said Sen. Diane
Savino. Some are moving to other states like Colorado, New Mexico and
Washington where they can get it, she said.

Shah replied that health department is establishing the trial within
the limits of current law. Several meetings are scheduled over the
next few months on implementing it.

"There's a lot of interest in this program," Shah said. He noted that
with the ongoing development of other drugs, ophthalmologists told him
marijuana is no longer a preferred treatment for glaucoma.
- ---
MAP posted-by: Matt