Cuomo: Speed Up Drug for Kids With Epilepsy

ALBANY (AP) -

New York requested federal permission to import out-of-state marijuana so children and young adults with epilepsy can get medication soon instead of waiting for the state to develop its own program.

Acting Health Commissioner Howard Zucker, in letters to the Justice Department, said there’s evidence that cannabidiol, the active ingredient in marijuana, may help those patients who are suffering and not responding to conventional treatments.

New York’s medical marijuana program, with tightly regulated cultivation and manufacture within the state, isn’t scheduled to start before 2016.

“Since the passage of this law, however, at least three children in New York State have died from complications related to epilepsy resistant to standard therapies,” Zucker wrote.