New York State announced on Thursday that people suffering from chronic pain will soon be able to legally use cannabis. New York State Health Commissioner Dr. Howard A. Zucker said in a statement that after reviewing scientific literature it has become clear to him that chronic pain sufferers could benefit from cannabis.
Duh! NY state government is finally recognizing what everyone knows, and is empirically evident; Cannabis is a far superior pain reliever than opiates. “Medical marijuana is already helping thousands of patients across New York State, and adding chronic pain as a qualifying condition will help more patients and further strengthen the program.” said Dr. Zucker.
Allowing pain patients to use cannabis will help patients reduce their dependence on opioid medications which will certainly lead to a reduction in opioid abuse and overdose. Cannabis unlike opiates has no receptors on the brain stem which means overdose is impossible. While overdosing on opiates can stop your heart or breathing. This alone makes cannabis far safer for the treatment of pain.
Until now patients could only use cannabis for pain when it is caused by one of the 10 qualifying conditions.
(Cancer, HIV infection or AIDS, ALS, Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, damage to the nervous tissue of the spinal cord with objective neurological indication of intractable spasticity, epilepsy, inflammatory bowel disease, neuropathy, and Huntington’s disease.)
There is no timeline as of yet for when chronic pain patients will have access to cannabis. According to the NYS Health Department, the proposed regulatory amendment will be published for public comment shortly. The public will have the opportunity to comment before they become final once the Department of Health publishes its proposed rules.
For more information on New York’s medical marijuana program, including how to apply as a patient, visit Health NY.