Pain patients qualify for medical marijuana

Posted at 11:10 AM, Dec 01, 2016
and last updated 2016-12-01 18:36:56-05

Chronic pain patients in New York State will now qualify to use medical marijuana.  Chronic pain joins the state's list of 10 current qualifying conditions.

The State Department of Health made the announcement Thursday morning.  Health Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker said, "After conducting a thorough review of the scientific literature, it became clear that there may be certain benefits in the use of medical marijuana by patients suffering from chronic pain."  He went on to say that medical marijuana is already helping thousands across New York State, and that adding chronic pain as a qualifying condition will help more patients in the future.

The department will develop guidelines to identify chronic pain patients who qualify for medical marijuana.  A press release said the regulatory amendment would be published for public comment shortly.

According to the Department of Health the other ten qualifying conditions are cancer, HIV infection or AIDS, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, damage to the nervous tissue of the spinal cord with objective neurological indication of intractable spasticity, epilepsy, inflammatory bowel disease, neuropathies, and Huntington’s disease.

7 Eyewitness News Reporter Ed Reilly has more in his reports.