New York Launches Medical Marijuana

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The New York’s Medical Marijuana Program launches this month. It is part of a series of state initiatives to either legalize marijuana for either medical reasons or use by the general population. A look at marijuana legalization by state is part of the 24/7 Wall St. 11 States Least Likely to Legalize Marijuana

The new initiative was announced to doctors in a letter from Howard A. Zucker, M.D., J.D.r, M.D., J.D. Commissioner of Health written late in December:

If you have patients with medical conditions that may benefit from the use of medical marijuana, I would also like to remind you that next month is the launch of New York’s Medical Marijuana Program. I encourage you to enroll in the online course to become a registered physician, so you can certify eligible patients to receive medical marijuana

The state set out the rules for doctors wishing to participate:

Be qualified to treat patients with one or more of the serious conditions set forth in subdivision seven of section thirty-three hundred sixty of the public health law or as added by the Commissioner.

The law currently identifies the following severe, debilitating or life threatening conditions: cancer, HIV infection or AIDS, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, spinal cord injury with spasticity, epilepsy, inflammatory bowel disease, neuropathy, and Huntington’s disease.

Patients must also have one of the following associated or complicating conditions: cachexia or wasting syndrome, severe or chronic pain, severe nausea, seizures, or severe or persistent muscle spasms;

Be licensed, in good standing as a physician and practicing medicine, as defined in article one hundred thirty one of the Education Law, in New York State;
Have completed a four-hour course approved by the Commissioner; and
Have registered with the New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH).

As the 24/7 Wall St. analysis pointed out “Starting with California in 1996, medicinal marijuana use is now legal in 23 states”