According to New York Public Radio station WBFO, Gov. Cuomo told a crowd at the city's annual parade Saturday that he believes cannabis can help upwards of 19,000 New Yorkers who have been diagnosed with PTSD, including not only soldiers returning from combat, but police officers, survivors of domestic abuse, sexual violence, and other life-altering traumas.
Even though NY has legalized medical marijuana for veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs won't help them get the drug.
The measure garnered massive support in the state Legislature earlier this year and passed through the Senate in June.
"New York is home to some of the bravest service members in the nation and in addition to residents suffering from PTSD due to other traumatic experiences, this legislation will ensure that everyone receives the effective treatment they deserve", Savino said in a statement.
"PTSD is a serious problem facing our state, and now we have one more tool available to alleviate suffering".
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Cuomo also unveiled a new program that will permit veterans to order service branch-specific license plates demonstrating their service in the Army, Navy, Air Force, Coast Guard or Marines.
According to Jill Montag, a spokeswoman for the state Department of Health, New York State's Medical Marijuana Program has certified 35,621 patients, since its launch almost two years ago and has 1,316 registered practitioners.
Across the nation, a number of this weekend's Veterans Day observances were marked by actions in support of increasing medical marijuana access for America's heroes. Advocates and patients across the state have been keeping the pressure on our lawmakers to add PTSD as a qualifying condition since the Governor signed the Compassionate Care Act into law in July of 2014.
A recent survey found that 83 percent of military veterans want the federal government to legalize medical marijuana.