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New York, VA at odds over medical marijuana for veterans with PTSD

New York, VA at odds over medical marijuana for veterans with PTSD

Gov. Andrew Cuomo Saturday signed a bill allowing people with PTSD to obtain medical marijuana with a doctor's authorization.

NY military veterans and others diagnosed with post-traumatic stress will now be able to enter the state's medical marijuana program.

Hudson Valley residents suffering from PTSD can now get medical marijuana.

The decision comes just a week after the American Legion released a survey finding that 81 percent of military veteran households "want to have cannabis as a federally-legal treatment".

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"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", said Assembly Health Committee chair Richard N. Gottfried, sponsor of the bill. Qualified patients can receive marijuana oils and topicals.

The governor estimates that 19,000 individuals could benefit from the addition of PTSD to list of qualifying conditions for medical marijuana use. Diane J. Savino (D-Staten Island), once S.5629 was signed into law on Veterans Day, the tenacious policymaker was elated.

Bills to add PTSD to state medical marijuana programs were also signed into law in Colorado, New Hampshire, and Vermont in 2017.

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.