The New York State Department of Health has added opioid abuse as a qualifying condition to obtain medical marijuana. According to a press release, State Health Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker stated, 'research indicated that marijuana can reduce the use of opioids, medical marijuana has the potential to save countless lives across the state'.

Opioid use now joins the 12 other qualifying conditions under state law. Those include cancer, HIV or Aids, ALS, Parkinson's disease, inflammatory bowel disease and others.

Overdose deaths have jumped about 180% from 2010 to 2016. Marijuana can be used as a pain reliever instead of the more addictive products on the market today. The press release goes on to say that in states that have begun prescribing the less addicting marijuana have noticed a difference in lowering the rates of death by as much as 25%. While that number is great, more needs to be done.

As of now, New York medical marijuana is in the form of liquid and pills, no flowers allowed. Nearly 60,000 New Yorkers have signed up for medication with just under 1,700 providing prescriptions.

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