Despite being a state generally considered liberal in its application of social laws, New York is fairly stringent in its medical marijuana laws. Medical marijuana is legal in the state, but only for a limited number of medical conditions. You can find a complete list of eligible conditions on the state Department of Health website.
Below is a condensed list of approved conditions. As you read, please understand that your doctor ultimately has the final say in whether or not you are eligible to use medical marijuana. In order to obtain the drug, you will need both a doctor’s certificate (which you can get from companies like THC Physicians) and valid registration with New York State.
According to Veriheal, if you are trying to get your license for medical marijuana in New York, you will need to find a certified medical marijuana doctor. If your doctor isn’t qualified, a service known as Veriheal can help you locate one who does. Veriheal is an online organization offering a variety of medical marijuana services.
New York medical marijuana laws state that patients may be eligible for medical marijuana if they had been diagnosed with certain “debilitating or life-threatening conditions.” Among them is cancer. The law does not specify certain types of cancer, so it is generally assumed that such judgments are left up to oncologists. At any rate, cancer does qualify as long as it is either life-threatening or presents with certain kinds of symptoms like severe nausea or persistent muscle spasms.
Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS)
Also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, ALS is a motor neuron disease that affects the neurons that control voluntary muscle movement. In fact, the disease kills those neurons. It is a debilitating disease that progressively gets worse over time. It is typified by muscle stiffness, twitches, loss of muscle mass, and the eventual inability to control muscle movements of all.
The disease is also one that causes chronic pain. Some patients eventually have difficulty swallowing and breathing. It should be clear from the symptoms that ALS qualifies as a disease eligible for medical marijuana.
Parkinson’s disease is one of the more common forms of dementia. It is a disease that attacks the central nervous system and, over time, completely takes over motor function. This degenerative disease is especially traumatic in the sense that it progresses very, very slowly. As a patient declines, his or her ability to control motor skills is gradually diminished.
Parkinson’s disease is eligible for medical marijuana in New York due to the debilitating nature of the condition. In addition to a loss of motor skills, patients suffer from anxiety, sensory disorders, emotional problems, and insomnia.
Yet another degenerative and debilitating disease eligible for medical marijuana in New York is multiple sclerosis (MS). Although MS treatments have come a long way in recent years, the disease still causes tremendous problems for those affected by it.
MS is a condition that results in damage to the insulating cover of the brain and spinal cord. Over time, this damage results in a variety of symptoms including muscle weakness, loss of sensation, loss of coordination, and even blindness. Pain is a daily thing for MS patients as well. New York medical marijuana laws recognize MS as a condition eligible for the drug.
If you believe you are eligible for medical marijuana in New York, the first step is to see your doctor. Your doctor will either evaluate you for certification or, if not registered, point you to another clinician. You will have to take your certificate to the state in order to be registered, then take both your certificate and ID card to a dispensary.