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What you need to know about medical marijuana in New York

Depending on the nature of their conditions, some patients in New York may be able to secure medical marijuana for treatment and pain management purposes. This is good news for certain individuals, but the regulations and laws surrounding the dispensing and appropriate use of this product are strict, and any misuse could lead to criminal charges.

Who can get a prescription for medical marijuana?

People may be eligible for a medical marijuana prescription if they have a diagnosis of a debilitating, severe or life-threatening disease. New York medical marijuana law includes the following as qualifying conditions:

  • Cancer
  • HIV infection or AIDS
  • Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS)
  • Parkinson's disease
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Spinal cord injury with spasticity
  • Epilepsy
  • Inflammatory bowel disease
  • Neuropathy
  • Huntington's disease

Marijuana may provide relief of persistent pain and may alleviate some of the negative side effects associated with certain diseases, but only certain doctors can prescribe it.

Approved types and dosage amounts

The Commissioner of Health approved only certain forms of marijuana for medicinal purposes, and patients must use it only according to the ways prescribed by their doctors. Approved forms include liquids and oils for inhalation, vaporization and in capsule form.

Smoking is not an approved manner of consumption for medical marijuana patients. A patient's certification must include the brand of marijuana, recommended form of use and any limitations specified by the doctor. Under current law, patients may only get a 30-day supply at a time.

Medical marijuana and criminal charges

Even with a qualifying medical condition, the misuse of medical marijuana could lead to serious legal repercussions. New York takes a strong stance against drug crimes, and it is possible that you could face charges and penalties that may impact your life for years to come. A prescription for medical marijuana may not be enough to shield you from legal repercussions.

It is possible, however, to effectively confront any allegations of the misuse of medical cannabis with the help of an experienced defense attorney. You may challenge the evidence brought against you, including the following elements:

  • The search and seizure process
  • The conduct of the police officers
  • A potential violation of your personal rights

A strong defense may result in minimizing the potential penalties, securing lesser charges or even resulting in a complete dismissal of all charges against you. Do not let allegations of the misuse of medical marijuana negatively impact your future; you can take steps to protect your freedom and your right to appropriate medical care.

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