New York Cannabis Law To Expand For Patients With Chronic Pain

Cannabis in New York is legal for certain health conditions, but now that law is expanding to allow for people who suffer from chronic pain to use the plant-based marijuana treatment.

In a new report from New York Daily News, cannabis will soon be expanded for more patient’s right that marks a landmark win for proponents of marijuana in the state of New York. For those who use cannabis as a treatment for major and minor ailments, the marijuana treatment has been known to expand people’s lives and also improve their quality of life.

The movement to legalize marijuana in the Untied States has grown quite rapidly over the past few years with several states decriminalizing the use of cannabis for medical reasons. There have also been a handful of states that have decriminalized the use of marijuana for recreational purposes as well, such as Colorado and Washington.

There have indeed proven to be several medicinal uses from cannabis that have taken shape over the past few years, which New York was quick to pick up on and the laws have changed accordingly, although much more slowly in other states that are deemed to be conservative, or deep red republican states.

But with the onslaught of scientific evidence and the overwhelming proof of the health benefits of cannabis, that means that most states will at some point have to relent to the medical power of marijuana as a standard in the industry to treat many major ailments, which includes chronic pain.

When state health department officials were faced with the decision to expand cannabis rights to patients with chronic pain, the evidence in favor of it was stunningly strong.

New York Health Commissioner Howard A. Zucker made a statement to that effect and conveyed why he opted in favor of the cannabis use expansion.

“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,” Zucker said.

“Medical marijuana is already helping thousands of patients across New York State, and adding chronic pain as a qualifying condition will help more patients and further strengthen the program.”

The existing state regulations in New York for cannabis-based treatment includes patients who suffer from cancer, HIV and AIDS, Lou Gehrig’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, Huntington’s disease, epilepsy, specific spinal cord injuries, and people who suffer from multiple sclerosis.

Even though those types of ailments in people are quite severe and certainly should be afforded access to cannabis-based medical treatments by doctors, proponents for the decriminalization of marijuana say that the current regulations are excessively restrictive and do not afford quality care for people who suffer from chronic pain.

Kassandra Frederique is the state director of the Drug Policy Alliance in New York and she has publicly applauded the new directive by New York state officials to expand the use of cannabis for medical purposes.

“I think patients in New York deserve to run a victory lap over this,” Frederique said in a statement obtained by New York Daily News.

“I think it is fair to say that this could affect thousands of patients in New York.”

Although the expansion of the cannabis regulation has not taken effect yet, nor has it been passed, there is every indication that it will indeed be an accepted addition to the New York state policy, and people with chronic pain will be added to the list of patients who have access to treatments from cannabis, or marijuana.

The current cannabis program has been in use by the people of New York since January and over 10,000 patients have benefitted from the program. That includes a list of more than 7,000 physicians that have prescribed cannabis-based treatments for their patients.

[Featured Image by David McNew/Getty Images]