On Dec. 2, the State of New York announced it would include chronic pain as a qualifying condition for medical marijuana. The U.S. Pain Foundation actively supports legalizing medicinal marijuana for chronic pain in all states.

marijuana“Living with Ehlers-Danlos, I am always grateful to see states allowing pain patients, like me, to have the same rights as those with more commonly known conditions,” said Ellen Lenox Smith, U.S. Pain’s co-director for Medicinal Marijuana Advocacy. “Our goal is to see all states embracing the legal use of medical marijuana across the country.”

In a press release, New York Health Commissioner Howard Zucker said it was clear that there may be benefits in the use of medical marijuana by patients suffering from chronic pain. “Medical marijuana is already helping thousands of patients across New York State, and adding chronic pain as a qualifying condition will help more patients and further strengthen the program,” he said.

There are 10 conditions that currently qualify for medical marijuana usage in New York: cancer, HIV/AIDS, Lou Gehrig’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, spinal damage, epilepsy, inflammatory bowel disease, neuropathy, and Huntington’s disease. New York is now among the following states that also include chronic pain for legal marijuana use: Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Delaware, Washington DC, Hawaii, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont and Washington State.

U.S. Pain Foundation will continue to advocate for states to allow access to medicinal marijuana for patients with chronic pain and other conditions that may benefit from its use. To learn more about advocating for medicinal marijuana in your state, click here. For other questions about medicinal marijuana advocacy, email ellen@uspainfoundation.org.