STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. — New York’s U.S. senators have called on the federal Department of Justice to allow the state to begin part of its medical marijuana dispensing program early to treat children with forms of epilepsy and other seizure disorders.

Hoping to gain speed in starting the fledgling medical marijuana program, state health officials, at the request of Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, recently asked the federal government for permission to begin receiving the drug from out-of-state manufacturers even before the formal state program begins.

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