What health conditions qualify for medical cannabis in New York?

Only a handful of “severe, debilitating or life threatening” health conditions are currently eligible for medical marijuana treatment in New York.

You are potentially eligible for Medical Marijuana if you have been diagnosed with a specific severe, debilitating or life threatening condition that is accompanied by an associated or complicating condition. By law, those conditions are: cancer, HIV infection or AIDS, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, spinal cord injury with spasticity, epilepsy, inflammatory bowel disease, neuropathy, and Huntington’s disease. The associated or complicating conditions are cachexia or wasting syndrome, severe or chronic pain, severe nausea, seizures, or severe or persistent muscle spasms.

In January 2016, Health Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker announced that he would not allow patients with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Alzheimer’s disease, muscular dystrophy, dystonia, and rheumatoid arthritis to participate in the medical marijuana program because he does not believe there is enough scientific evidence to prove that cannabis can be an effective treatment for these conditions.

In accordance with state law, the New York Health Department was given a year and a half to consider the five proposed qualified conditions and make a determination as to whether patients with these ailments should be given access to medical marijuana. Officials reportedly pulled in a legion of health and science experts to examine several pieces of research pertaining to marijuana as a viable treatment option, but ultimately they concluded that more evidence was needed before they would be willing to move forward.

The New York Times recently reported that only 51 patients were currently registered to participate in the medical marijuana program, mostly because there are only about 150 physicians in the entire state that have been certified to provide their patients with medical marijuana recommendations. Furthermore, the Times indicates that dispensaries located in highly populated New York City have only seen “a trickle of patients” since opening their doors last week, indicating that dispensaries servicing other parts of the state likely aren’t seeing much action.

Keith Stroup, the founder of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, recently told Vice News that changes to New York’s medical marijuana program will take some time because lawmakers are still suspicious that patients are simply searching for a way to get stoned without legal ramifications. Unfortunately, due to the New York’s impact on national policy, Stroup thinks more states will follow in its footsteps when it comes time to create their respective medical marijuana programs – providing patients with no raw cannabis, no edibles, and no fun.

High Times

Medical Marijuana NYC Psychiatrist Jeff Ditzell Medical Cannabis.

Dr. Ditzell has the training and expertise to certify patients for medical marijuana (medical cannabis) to help guide cases and manage this treatment modality NYC Psychiatrist Jeff Ditzell.