Officials from the Colorado Board of Health deem Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) sufferers as ineligible for medical marijuana. The board rejected on Wednesday, July 15, the inclusion of PTSD in the list of medical conditions that can be treated with medical pot. This is the third time that the board had rejected marijuana for the treatment of the said medical condition.
After meetings and discussion, the results yielded a 6-2 vote, barring PTSD to be included in the list of "debilitating conditions" that can be treated by marijuana, says Mark Salley, the board's spokesperson. If PTSD was included in the list, it would allow physicians to recommend marijuana strains that are said improve patients' conditions, minus the psychoactive components of the drug thereby enabling the improved monitoring of efficacy, says Teri Robnett, director of the Cannabis Patients Alliance.
According to John Evans, a US Navy veteran and a spokesperson for Veterans For Freedoms, the board said the reason for the rejection is the lack of medical proof that cannabis can truly benefit the patients suffering from the said mental disorder. "The irony is that the members that voted against us stated a lack of scientific research and data, and just voted against collecting such data," he adds.
It is a sad day in Colorado, comments Sean Azzariti, an Iraq War veteran and an activist for the change of marijuana policies. He initially believed that the petition would be granted this year, especially because only a single vote prevented the approval last year. For him, the veterans have been let down.
Majority of the people were expecting to hear approval news, particularly after Dr. Larry Wolk, the state's chief medical officer, changed his stand from being against to being behind the petition to approve medical marijuana for PTSD treatment. The change of view is said to have rose from evidences that many people diagnosed with PTSD are already experiencing relief after being registered to receive medical cannabis.
Colorado has already approved the use of medical marijuana for eight conditions that include seizures, cancer and HIV/AIDS. The state has also stated that marijuana may also be recommended for those who have "a chronic or debilitating disease," which results in muscle spasms, excessive weight loss and seizures. Recreational cannabis has been approved in the state as well.
So far, nine states have already approved the use of medical marijuana for the treatment of PTSD.
Photo: Brett Levin | Flickr