NY allows veterans with PTSD to apply for medicinal marijuana

Effective immediately, the Gov. signed the legislation into law Saturday allowing patients with PTSD to participate in New York's medical marijuana program.

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.

NY is the 28th state to allow PTSD patients to get medical marijuana.

"From improving access to healthcare treatments and services, to removing barriers to employment, all five of these bills take important steps to ensure that veterans have every opportunity to continue succeeding when they return home", Governor Cuomo said.

"PTSD is a serious problem facing our state, and now we have one more tool available to alleviate suffering".

New York's medical marijuana law allows patients with illnesses including cancer, AIDS and Parkinson's disease to use consume non-smokable forms of the drug.

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

The bill (A.7006/S.5629) adds post-traumatic stress disorder as a qualifying condition for New York's medical marijuana program. 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.

He also approved measures to waive fees for veterans, honor them in the State Capitol and provide veterans employed by the state with paid leave for counseling and doctor's appointments.

Vanessa Coleman