However, the new Act has its fair share of dissenters, most notably the New Yorkers for Constitutional Freedoms organization (NYCF).
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“Marijuana is illegal for a reason, it is a dangerous drug,” said Rev. Jason McGuire, Conservative Party Chair for Livingston County and Executive Director of New Yorkers for Constitutional Freedoms. “NYCF believes that further research on the medicinal possibilities of cannabis oils-particularly those oils that do not have psychoactive effects-is appropriate. However, allowing smoked forms of marijuana to be used as medicine would be irresponsible and unnecessary.”
The new Act puts four main policies into effect.
First, it allows licensed doctors to certify patients with serious conditions for palliative or therapeutic benefit from marijuana.
Second, it allows these certified patients, and licensed caregivers who are registered with the state Department of Health, to possess up to two and one half ounces of marijuana.
Third, it gives Department of Health authority to license such caregivers and regulate their distribution to certified patients.
Lastly, the Act requires the Department of Health to give registry identification cards to certified patients and caregivers. These cards will expire 90 days after they are issued to conform with the maximum length of an initial prescription for all other controlled substances.
The controversy surrounding the new legislation has made it clear that the state assembly vote is not the final word on medical marijuana.