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Medical marijuana approved for PTSD treatment in New York State

14 November 2017

The first bill adds Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, or PTSD, as the 12th condition that makes New Yorkers eligible to access the state's medical marijuana program.

The medical marijuana bill was one of five bills the governor signed into law on Veterans Day.

Cuomo also unveiled a new program that will permit veterans to order service branch-specific license plates demonstrating their service in the Army, Navy, Air Force, Coast Guard or Marines.

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"Gov. Cuomo should be applauded for helping thousands of New York veterans find relief with medical marijuana", said Bob Becker, legislative director for the New York State Council of Veterans Organizations.

State Senator Diane Savino, who wrote the bill, was pleased with the outcome.

The governor said the legislation will help give veterans "every opportunity to continue succeeding when they return home".

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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.

"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. In, Alaska, where PTSD is not listed as a qualification, marijuana is legal for adults 21 and older.

According to a report from the University of Florida student newspaper the Alligator, a group of Sunshine State veterans used the military-focused holiday to bring a casket full of prescription pill bottles to a local Veterans Affairs hospital, protesting the federal agency's continued dismissal of medical cannabis and reliance on deadly pharmaceutical painkillers.

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

Medical marijuana approved for PTSD treatment in New York State