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Growing support and travel for marijuana

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Albany/HV: Growing support and travel for marijuana
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Medical marijuana is gaining traction in New York as the latest Quinnipiac poll shows the majority of state residents support its medicinal and even recreational uses. A local travel agency has seen the growing interest and has come up with options to cater to the cannabis curious. Innae Park explains.

SCHENECTADY, N.Y. -- It's not one of your more traditional destinations offered by Empress Travel in Schenectady. Their newest offering has marijuana on the menu.

With the drug legal in Colorado, customers are now calling about cannabis trips to the state.

Empress Travel co-owner Ed Plog explained, “It wasn't really something we were interested in doing, it's not really one of our travel goals, but we got inquiries.”

The travel agency has had one person book a trip thus far. “He's going out there for medical marijuana purposes. He's not just going out there for the fun of it,” said Plog. “If you go out there with somebody who knows what they're doing, it's a lot better for you to find out what you're looking for. They arrange things for you so you can participate in the tastings without any problems.”

Will New York be prescribing it soon?

A Quinnipiac poll released Monday shows that most New Yorkers are in favor of legalizing the drug for medicinal purposes, at 88 percent.

Not only that, but the majority are also behind making marijuana more accessible to all.
57 percent are for the change, 39 percent against.

However, Assemblyman and pharmacist John McDonald says he can't support marijuana for recreational use, though he sees value in it as medicine. "The reality is I've seen too many individuals and too many families impacted and destroyed because of prescribed controlled substances.”

However, even if pain relief is the purpose of a plane ride to Colorado, McDonald is wary.

"Medicinal marijuana has to be supervised by a health care practitioner who truly understand the impacts and effects and dosing,” he said. “Just to freelance, as some people are inclined to do, is really not good for their health.”

Not everyone who is on board with legalizing medical marijuana is on board with the Governor’s proposal, saying it’s too stringent and will not give the right type of relief to those who really need it.

In his state of the state address last month, Governor Cuomo said up to 20 hospitals would be given the ability to prescribe medical marijuana across the state.

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