Cuomo signs bill expanding medical marijuana to PTSD patients

Sergio Conner
November 14, 2017

Even though NY has legalized medical marijuana for veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs won't help them get the drug.

Gov. Cuomo noted during Saturday's parade down 5th Ave., "Our veterans risked their lives in order to defend the ideals and principles that this nation was founded upon and it is our duty to do everything we can to support them when they return home", according to the New York State website.

"Marijuana will be legalized if a doctor authorizes and finds the condition of PTSD for a veteran", Cuomo told the crowd gathered in Manhattan.

Virtually every state in the country with a medical marijuana program allows for treatment of PTSD.

According to Jill Montag, a spokeswoman for the state Department of Health, New York State's Medical Marijuana Program has certified 35,621 patients, since its launch almost two years ago and has 1,316 registered practitioners.

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"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.

The PTSD bill was part of a series of bills Cuomo signed over the weekend to highlight military veterans issues.

"If there are veterans that are suffering and we can make a treatment available, we want to", Cuomo said. New York's medical marijuana program does not permit flower or edibles.

The use or possession of marijuana is prohibited at all VA medical centers, locations and grounds.

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