AP Photo/Andrew Selsky

Chronic Pain Added as Qualifying Condition for Medical Marijuana

Added with hopes to improve patient access

March 22, 2017 - 1:07 pm

NEW YORK, N.Y. (WBEN) - Chronic pain was officially added as a qualifying condition for medical marijuana on Wednesday. New York State's Department of Health announced enhancements to the Medical Marijuana Program on March 16 which is supposed to improve patient access.

Chronic pain is defined by New York State as "any severe debilitating pain that the practitioner determines degrades health and functional capability; where the patient has contraindications" (meaning the patient has a specific condition/situation in which a therapy normally recommended to manage chronic pain shouldn't be used because it may be harmful to that patient, "has experienced intolerable side effects, or has experienced failure of one or more previously tried therapeutic options; and where there is documented medical evidence of such pain having lasted three months or more beyond onset, or the practitioner reasonably anticipates such pain to last three months or more beyond onset."

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