Central New York, Environment, Government

Cuomo Legalizes Marijuana for Veterans With PTSD

Veterans react to Cuomo's newly passed medical marijuana law.

Anthony Haynie III, SYRACUSE, N.Y. (NCC NEWS) — Andrew Cuomo signed a bill into law on Veterans’ Day, allowing veterans who suffer from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) to use medical marijuana as treatment for their disorder.

Governor Cuomo made the announcement Saturday prior to the NYC Veterans’ Day Parade, stating that “Many of our veterans are suffering from PTSD and the medical community has determined that it (medical marijuana) can be a helpful treatment.”

Some veterans in the Syracuse community agreed with the governor. “I have a lot of pain,” said William Lovette of Syracuse, U.S. Army veteran. “I don’t like marijuana, but if it’ll help with the pain, I’ll take it.”

Other veterans don’t necessarily oppose Cuomo’s new medical marijuana law, but are hopeful that it will be an effective coping mechanism for veterans struggling. “From what I’ve experienced and from what I’ve saw, that a lot of veterans could benefit from a bill such as this,” said Robert Pugh, a Marine Corps Veteran. “I would be happy to see what the results were over time.”

Cuomo said that there are about 19,000 New Yorkers suffering from PTSD. However, this doesn’t just include veterans. Police officers, fire fighters, and survivors of domestic violence also make up the crazy number. These victims are also eligible to use medical marijuana as treatment.

The newly passed medical marijuana law wasn’t the only piece of legislature signed over the weekend by the governor. Cuomo also signed a bill allowing a bill that will waive the civil service examination fee for veterans honorably discharged. Veterans also have the opportunity to display the branch they served on their license plates, which the governor also signed into law.