New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has signed into law a bill that allows the medical use of cannabis for those with post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
The bipartisan legislation (A7006) adds PTSD to New York’s medical cannabis program, allowing those with the condition to become legal medical cannabis patients. As with other conditions that are part of the state’s medical cannabis program, those with PTSD will need to receive a recommendation from a physician and register with the state before they can legally purchase and use medical cannabis. Governor Cuomo signed the bill today, on Veterans Day.
A7006 received widespread, bipartisan support in New York’s Legislature. It was approved by the Assembly in May with a vote of 131 to 8, and was subsequential passed by the Senate 50 to 13. New York now becomes the 28th state to allow medical cannabis for PTSD.
“We thank Gov. Cuomo for his support of this compassionate bill. No one should have to leave the state to have access to a treatment that might help them have a better quality of life,” said Landon Dais, political director for the Marijuana Policy Project of New York.
Assembly Health Committee chair Richard N. Gottfried, sponsor of the bill, said, “Governor Cuomo’s action reflects growing recognition of the value of medical marijuana, and is another welcome step in the expanding and strengthening of New York’s medical marijuana program.”
“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. “PTSD is a serious problem facing our state, and now we have one more tool available to alleviate suffering.”
Twenty-eight of the 29 states with medical marijuana programs will now allow patients with PTSD to qualify. In the only state that does not, Alaska, marijuana is legal and regulated for adults 21 and older. Bills to add PTSD to state medical marijuana programs were signed into law in Colorado, New Hampshire, and Vermont this year.
“Now, PTSD patients will have access to medical marijuana everywhere it is legally available,” Dais said. “Over the past two years, New York has made important strides toward having an inclusive, workable medical marijuana program. We urge legislators, Gov. Cuomo, and the Department of Health to continue improving the program. To better serve patients, the state should expand qualifying conditions, allow patients to use the type of cannabis products that work best for them, and reduce burdensome rules that drive up prices.”