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Medical marijuana is now officially legal in New York

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Late last month, New York state lawmakers voted for the Compassionate Care Act — which legalizes medical marijuana — to pass into law. Today, Governor Andrew Cuomo signed the bill, making it legal for patients with such serious diseases as cancer, HIV/AIDS, and multiple sclerosis to obtain the drug, and making New York the 23rd state to legalize it. The only caveat is that buyers won't be able to smoke their marijuana, but can consume it in edibles, tinctures, and pills or inhale the drug using vaporizers.

Reiterating his previous statements on the issue, Governor Cuomo wrote, "The legislation I am signing today strikes the right balance between our desire to give those suffering from serious diseases access to treatment, and our obligation to guard against threats to public health and safety." The new law goes into effect immediately, but it will be some time before it can be implemented, as the State Health Department still needs to determine how the drug will be regulated and how patients can legally obtain it.