This month, New York started its extremely strict medical marijuana program for those who must endure “severe, debilitating, or life-threatening” conditions. However, since the opening, there has been no proof of state officials being ready to inflate the size of the program for more availability. Health Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker said on Monday that he would not let patients with the following conditions receive medical marijuana: Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Alzheimer’s disease, muscular dystrophy, dystonia, and rheumatoid arthritis. According to Zucker, there is not enough information to prove that marijuana is effective in treating these.

In order to comply with the laws of the state, the New York Health Department received a year and a half worth of time to go over the five qualified conditions and choose whether or not people with the conditions should be given medical cannabis. Officials allegedly sought the advice of many health and science experts to decide whether or not cannabis was a good option for the conditions overviewed. The final decision was that more research needed to be undertaken. Dr. Zucker has the authority to include any new condition he wants at any time.

“The law or the health commissioner don’t tell doctors what diseases are appropriate for any other drug,” key sponsor of the Compassionate Care Act, Assemblyman Richard Gottfried, stated. “We really should not have an official list for medical marijuana.”

At the moment, medical cannabis in New York is only allowed to be given to people who have “cancer, HIV/AIDS, Lou Gehrig’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, intractable spasticity as a result of spinal cord damage, epilepsy, inflammatory bowel disease, neuropathies and Huntington’s disease.” However, New York should be ashamed of just how much of a failure the program is turning out to be. This failure is merely the result of officials refusing the fear that there may be an issue.

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