Advocates: Big Victory, More Needed
NEW YORK—(ENEWSPF)—November 14, 2017
By: Tony Newman
Over the weekend on Veterans Day, Governor Cuomo signed the bill that will finally allow patients with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) to access medical marijuana in New York.
The bill (A.7006/S.5629) adds post-traumatic stress disorder as a qualifying condition for New York’s medical marijuana program. Advocates and patients across the state have been keeping the pressure on our lawmakers to add PTSD as a qualifying condition since the Governor signed the Compassionate Care Act into law in July of 2014.
“After years of hard work, patients have finally won access for veterans and others suffering from PTSD to receive the benefits of medical marijuana,” said Chris Alexander , New York Policy Coordinator for the Drug Policy Alliance. “This victory for PTSD patients is a great step forward and will impact 1,000’s who are suffering. But the New York medical marijuana program remains one of the most restrictive in the country and we will continue to push for increased patient access, affordability, and an end to marijuana arrests in this state.”
NY Daily News
Cuomo signs off on medical marijuana use for PTSD to mark Veterans Day
By: Ellen Moynihan, Denis Slattery, November 11, 2017
In honor of Veterans Day, Gov. Cuomo on Saturday signed legislation allowing medicinal marijuana to be used to treat post-traumatic stress disorder.
The bill allows military veterans, police officers and firefighters, as well as survivors of domestic violence, access to the state’s burgeoning marijuana dispensary system.
“Many of our veterans are suffering from PTSD and the medical community has determined that marijuana can be a helpful treatment in some areas,” Cuomo said during Saturday’s Veterans Day parade on Fifth Ave. “And part of our commitment to do everything we can do if there are veterans who are suffering and we can make a treatment available, we want to.”
Medical marijuana is legal in New York for a handful of serious ailments and conditions, including cancer, HIV and AIDS, Lou Gerhrig’s, Parkinson’s and Huntington’s diseases, epilepsy, multiple sclerosis and some spinal injuries.
Cuomo, an American flag sticking out of his breast pocket, announced he signed four other bills that provide combat veterans employed by the state additional days off for health and counseling visits, waive civil service exam fees for veterans who were honorably discharged and create custom license plates commemorating service members.
“This country is not this country without the work of the veterans. Their sacrifice and their courage is the highest form of patriotism.”
State Sen. Diane Savino (D-Staten Island), who penned the PTSD legislation, applauded the governor’s backing.
“New York is home to some of the bravest service members in the nation and in addition to residents suffering from PTSD due to other traumatic experiences, this legislation will ensure that everyone receives the effective treatment they deserve,” she said in a statement.