NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) -- Gov. Andrew Cuomo unveiled his plan for medical marijuana in New York during his State of the State address on Wednesday.
Cuomo said his initiative will help New Yorkers suffering from cancer and other severe ailments.
The plan would allow 20 hospitals to dispense marijuana to people suffering from cancer and some other diseases under state Department of Health regulations.
Cuomo's medical marijuana plan will be enacted by executive order, not legislation, and will be more restrictive than programs in some other states like California.
"We will monitor the program to evaluate the effectiveness and the feasibility of a medical marijuana system,'' the governor said.
In an accompanying briefing book, the Cuomo administration described who would be eligible: patients with cancer, glaucoma and other specific diseases listed by the Health Department and "who are in a life-threatening or sense-threatening situation.'' Both conditions would be certified by a doctor and the program would be subject to stringent research protocols, the book said.
The news is giving hope to people who could benefit from the move.
Carley Tagney-Decker's daughter has a rare neurological disorder that experts said can be treated by the active ingredients in pot.
"You have to grow it specifically; it's got to be tested in the lab. It's got to be put into a form that's an edible form. She can't smoke a joint; I don't want her smoking a joint. That's not what this is about," said Tagney-Decker.
The move comes amid a major turnaround when it comes to the hazy view Americans have had on pot.
A recent Gallup poll found for the first time ever a majority of people think the drug should be legalized all together.
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