Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) has not been added to the list of ailments that would enable New Yorkers to purchase medical cannabis, according to the state health department.
According to the state’s health commissioner, Dr. Howard Zucker, not enough evidence existed to support the claim that medical cannabis had a positive effect in the treatment of PTSD. The determination, while contradictory to anecdotal evidence from PTSD sufferers and some research, is based upon the analysis of several dozen scientific studies by state Department of Health physicians and scientists, according to a health department spokesperson.
However, the commissioner may add any condition to the list of those for which medical cannabis is available in the Empire State, and the commissioner will be meeting with experts in February to reassess any new information.
The law signed 18 months ago by New York Governor Andrew Cuomo legalizing the statewide sale of medical cannabis listed five ailments that the health department needed to investigate in order to determine whether cannabis served as a viable treatment method. The others included rheumatoid arthritis, Alzheimer’s disease, muscular dystrophy, and dystonia.
The decision by the health department frustrated at least one state assemblyman who supported the original bill.
“The law or the health commissioner don’t tell doctors what diseases are appropriate for any other drug,”
said Assemblyman Richard Gottfried.
“We really should not have an official list for medical marijuana.”