New York Adds PTSD to Qualifying Conditions on Veterans Day

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed a bill Saturday, adding Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) to New York’s list of qualifying conditions for access to medical cannabis. The move makes New York the 28th state to allow medical cannabis for PTSD.

“Our veterans risked their lives in order to defend the ideals and principles that this nation was founded upon and it is our duty to do everything we can to support them when they return home,” Cuomo said. Gov. Cuomo made the statement just before the Veterans Day Parade. The governor said that there are potentially 19,000 veteran New Yorkers with PTSD. If anyone needs medical cannabis, it’s veterans.

In addition, the governor created military branch-specific license plates that show if a veteran served in the Army, Navy, Air Force, Coast Guard or Marines. The new “Honor Series” license plates will be available for veterans through the state Department of Motor Vehicles. “Moments ago I signed legislation adding PTSD to list of conditions that can be treated with medical marijuana. And as a symbol of our appreciation, veterans in New York State can now get a special license plate that honors their service,” Gov. Cuomo tweeted.

About 12 percent of veterans who served in Afghanistan, Iraq or in Operation Desert Storm suffer from PTSD. Veteran groups, including the American Legion, have been pushing for access to medical cannabis as a PTSD treatment on a federal scale. Meanwhile, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs continues to be unwilling to help veterans gain access to the plant.

New York allows registered patients to store up to a 30-day supply of non-smokable cannabis. Last August, The New York State Department of Health announced a new set of regulations on its medical cannabis program. The medical cannabis bill was one of five bills that the governor signed on Veterans Day.

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