I am a patient in the Oregon Medical Marijuana Program. I qualified because I suffer from chronic pain related to arthritis. Chronic pain is nothing to mess with. Chronic pain by most definitions is a pain that lasts longer than six months. In my case, until there is a cure for arthritis, I will experience pain from it, so six months, twelve months, etc., it doesn’t matter.
There are a lot of people out there that suffer from chronic pain in ways that don’t qualify for medical marijuana programs. It depends on the state. What might be considered to be chronic pain in one state may not be considered to be chronic pain in another state. In New York State, the specific definition is going to be important because New York is adding ‘chronic pain’ to the list of qualifying conditions for New York’s medical marijuana program. Per WGRZ:
Medical marijuana will soon be available to New Yorkers suffering from chronic pain.
The state Health Department said Thursday it is developing regulations to allow doctors to prescribe medical marijuana to patients with chronic pain, although it has yet to define what symptoms will qualify as 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,” state Health Commissioner Howard Zucker said in a statement.
New York’s medical marijuana program has been a series of hurdles. The program took a long time to get off the ground, and even once it did, high prices and a limited list of qualifying conditions has really hindered the program from both the patient and provider side. Hopefully the criteria for chronic pain is reasonable in New York, so that as many patients can enter the program as possible. Otherwise the program will always be limited in its success, and suffering patients will have to resort to obtaining their medicine from the unregulated market or going without.