Anyone in New York State whose doctor prescribes an opioid, is now able to request medical marijuana instead.
In announcing details of the new policy, State Health Commissioner Howard Zucker said medical marijuana has been shown to be an effective pain treatment that doesn’t carry the risk of addiction that comes with opioids. Zucker says giving people an alternative to opioids is a critical step in the fight against the opioid epidemic.
Conditions that already make a person eligible for medical marijuana in New York include chronic pain, Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, epilepsy and post-traumatic stress disorder.
More than 62,000 people have signed up for New York’s medical marijuana program.