Spending Medical Pot Likely Focus Of Cuomo Speech

01.06.14 | Bob Price

Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Wednesday will lay out a vision for the last year of his first term and is expected to push for state spending limits, propose new property tax relief and announce a surprise reversal on medical marijuana. With both high poll ratings and a campaign bank account of more than $28 million, the Democrat's State of the State address is expected to repeat some other recent themes like closing or revamping failing schools. And Cuomo has recently emphasized continuing an overall 2 percent limit on spending growth and applying savings to help New Yorkers offset local property taxes. Aides known for tight-lipped discipline haven't leaked much so far, though advocates got word Saturday that Cuomo will allow limited use of medical marijuana, something he has previously opposed. He is expected to use an administrative order, not legislation, to permit some hospitals to dispense the drug for certain ailments. It is commonly prescribed for chronic pain, nausea from cancer chemotherapy, glaucoma and some other conditions. State lawmakers have some other priorities as well. Assembly Democrats want college financial aid for immigrants, a higher minimum wage and more child care subsidies, while Senate Republicans want personal and corporate tax cuts and simplicity in the tax code.