Niagara Gazette

Opinion

July 10, 2014

GLYNN: No quick changes with NY marijuana law

That medical marijuana bill that Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed into law Monday won’t change things overnight. In fact, it may be early 2016 before eligible patients will be able to use the drug.

Under the current legislation — New York is the 23rd state to legalize its usage — only patients suffering from diseases like cancer and AIDS will have access to the special treatment. Smoking the marijuana is strictly prohibited. The legislation stipulates that the state Health Department will have virtually full control over the new program. In fact, if at any point the governor decides it’s not working as envisioned, he can simply shut it all down.

While some people are upset over the delay in starting the program, the governor’s office explained that it requires 18 months to allow time for all the regulations, including strict certification and record keeping, to be put in place. The bill also calls for all of the marijuana to be home grown in the Empire State which added to the delay, according to state health officials.

By the way, such a delay is not unusual, based on the experiences in other states. In Washington State, it took 20 months, or some 600 days, after voters legalized the drug so that it could be sold, starting Tuesday, in retail pot stores. Legally, you’ll be allowed to buy up to an ounce of dried marijuana.

•••

ON THE WATERFRONT: Canalside in downtown Buffalo — though still in the construction stages — is rapidly gaining recognition as a favorite place to hang out in Western New York.

Today, the visitor tally will probably multiply as the historic U.S. Brig Niagara makes a dramatic arrival at 3 p.m., firing her 32-pound carronades and carrying as much sail as the weather conditions allow.

Countless history buffs know that the ship is a replica of the the relief flagship that Commodore Oliver Hazard Perry commanded in the Battle of Lake Erie during the War of 1812.

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