New York took a major step towards legalizing medical marijuana as a treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), New York Daily News reports.
On Tuesday, the New York state Senate, which is controlled by a Republican majority, passed a bill that approves medical marijuana as a PTSD treatment with a 50-13 vote.
The bill goes to Gov. Cuomo for his review, but it is uncertain whether or not he will sign it into law.
“Patients in New York State should have the option to try what works for them,” Bill sponsor Sen. Diane Savino (D-State Island) said.
Not everyone in the state legislature supports this measure, including Sen. Thomas Croci, (R-Suffolk County), who chairs the Senate’s veterans committee, citing a lack of evidence for the drug’s effectiveness as a PTSD treatment.
“I think we are premature,” Crocci said during the Senate debate.
New York does not allow medical marijuana lightly. Currently, only a few serious and often life-threatening conditions are allowed to use medical marijuana as a treatment method. These conditions include cancer, HIV and AIDS, Lou Gehrig’s disease, Parkinson’s and Hungtington’s diseases, and epilepsy. Multiple sclerosis and certain spinal cord injuries are also included. Chronic pain was not included on the list of approved conditions until December 2016.
Although there are certainly critics at the federal level, such as Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who has a long history of opposing and criminalizing marijuana, there are also some federal supporters. For instance, U.S. Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin has publicly stated it’s possible medical marijuana could help veterans.