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New York becomes 23rd state to allow medical marijuana

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ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — New York has become the 23rd state in the country to authorize marijuana as a medical treatment — though the state will have one of the more restrictive programs in the U.S.

Under legislation signed into law on Saturday by Gov. Andrew Cuomo, patients with one of 10 different diseases including AIDS, cancer and epilepsy will be able to obtain non-smokeable versions of the drug.

Instead, the drug must be ingested or administered through a vaporizer or oil base.

Cuomo, a Democrat, opposed allowing medical pot in plant form, saying the drug could have ended up in the wrong hands.

The compromise was one of the final measures passed by lawmakers before they adjourned last month. Cuomo is expected to hold a ceremonial bill signing for the legislation on Monday.

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