Cannabis is like any other prescription drug, and in the spirit of normalization doctors in New York have a chance to get a primer on how to prescribe it.

No word yet on how many physicians have actually signed up yet, but the online training is called, The New York State Practitioner Education — Medical Use of Marijuana Course.

The four-hour course costs $249, and covers 11 state-mandated units: pharmacology, side effects, adverse reactions, contraindications (i.e. when not to use it), drug interactions, dosing, administration, risks/benefits, precautions, abuse/dependence, and overdose prevention.

It's expected to be expanded over time to include additional disease-specific modules and other content.

Educating medical professionals is a positive step toward normalizing weed, says Julie Netherland, New York deputy state director for the Drug Policy Alliance.

"The launching of the physician training marks an important step forward," Netherland told the Village Voice, "but if the state is going to meet their January deadline of providing medical marijuana to qualified patients, they'll need to do some aggressive outreach to get doctors enrolled, through the course, and registered to certify patients."

h/t Village Voice