Bill to add PTSD as qualifying condition for medical marijuana use advances in NY Senate

Posted at 3:25 PM, May 09, 2017
and last updated 2017-05-09 18:21:36-04

A bill to add Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) to the list of qualifying conditions to allow a person to purchase medical marijuana has advanced in the New York Senate.

The bill is sponsored by Senator Diane Savino (D-Staten Island) and co-sponsored by several senators.

"I am grateful to the Senate Health Committee for advancing this compassionate bill, and on behalf of countless veterans who could benefit, I urge the full Senate to promptly approve the bill," said Michael Krawitz, executive director of Veterans for Medical Cannabis Access. "Veterans with PTSD should not have to choose between FDA-approved medications that carry a black box suicide warning and off-label drugs with no clinical efficacy and horrible side effects. There is another way: medical marijuana has helped veterans have a restful night's sleep instead of night terrors, and thus experience a better quality of life."

According to the Marijuana Policy Project, a policy group in Washington D.C. devoted to changing laws around the use of marijuana, 24 of the 29 states with medical marijuana programs allow patients with PTSD to use marijuana legally. Two of the states that do not, Colorado and Alaska, have legalized and regulated marijuana use for adults 21 and older.

Colorado has a bill to add PTSD to the medical marijuana program that has passed the Legislature and is awaiting approval from the governor, according to the Medical Marijuana Project. It also says similar bills are making their way through the legislatures in Vermont and New Hampshire.