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New York State becomes the country's 23rd state to legalize marijuana for medical purposes. However, it is still illegal to use for recreational purposes unlike Colorado. As of 2014, Colorado and Washington are the only two states in the nation to have legalized cannabis for recreational purposes.
According to The Wall Street Journal, the law would allow doctors to prescribe this herb to patients with serious illnesses such as cancer, AIDS and multiple sclerosis. It would allow patients to use cannabis in oil-based or vapor form, however, smoking the substance would still be illegal.
The Huffington Post reveals that Gottfried, New York's medical marijuana sponsor for the past two decades, described the bill as "a tremendous victory for patients." Karen O'Keefe, Marijuana Policy Project's director of state policy, was disappointed with the ban on smoking. She revealed that smoking is the quickest mode of effective relief for medical marijuana patients. Even though vaporizing cannabis is legal, effective vaporizers are very expensive for ordinary patients to afford. She also pointed out that, unlike cigarettes, smoking marijuana does not cause lung cancer.
A study poll conducted earlier this year revealed that over 80 percent of New-yorkers support the legalization of medical marijuana.