NY allows veterans with PTSD to apply for medicinal marijuana

Governor Andrew Cuomo participates in Veterans Day parade in New York City

Governor Andrew Cuomo participates in Veterans Day parade in New York City

Members of the U.S. military suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder will now be able to acquire medical marijuana to treat their condition as part of a series of bills signed Saturday by Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo in honor of Veterans Day.

The governor estimates that 19,000 individuals could benefit from the addition of PTSD to list of qualifying conditions for medical marijuana use.

Cuomo also announced a new program that will allow veterans to order service branch-specific license plates showing they served in the Army, Navy, Air Force, Coast Guard or Marines.

Recently, an overwhelming majority of US military veterans threw their support behind medical marijuana research and legalization in a new survey.

"Marijuana will be legalized if a doctor authorizes and finds the condition of PTSD for a veteran", Cuomo told the crowd gathered in Manhattan. "I commend Gov. Cuomo for taking action to support our residents and veterans, and signing legislation that will help remedy a number of serious conditions affecting New Yorkers in communities across the state".

Medical marijuana is legal in NY 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.

"This will help ensure that more of those suffering are eligible to become certified medical cannabis patients, and will allow each doctor to treat their patients as they see fit", said State Senator Diane Savino, who authored the PTSD medical marijuana legislation, in a statement following Cuomo's announcement. New York's medical marijuana program does not permit flower or edibles. The American Legion survey showed that 81 percent of vets and 83 percent of caregivers support the federal legalization of cannabis for medical purposes. "I'm here now, I'm alive because I'm a medical marijuana user".

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