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On July 17th, Washington state was the 11th state to add Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and traumatic brain injuries into list of qualifying conditions for medical cannabis. Unfortunately, Colorado state has refused to do the same about a week before Washington’s decision due to lack of scientific evidence to prove its safety and effectiveness. This might be bad news for a lot of veterans.

“A dozen of the veterans who testified said cannabis has saved their lives. Many said drugs legally prescribed to them for PTSD at veterans clinics or by other doctors — antidepressants, antipsychotics, opioids and others — nearly killed them or robbed them of quality of life.”

Read full article in the Cannabist here…

Others, who could not acquire cannabis or receive suitable treatment, turned to suicide to escape  the PTSD torture.

“Pot helped,” said Cammarata, a US Army medic who served in Iraq. He figures it probably kept him from committing suicide during his years living in the Netherlands.

But he didn’t find full relief until he combined the drug with counseling, exercise, meditation, hypnosis and other forms of therapy …

In fact, some PTSD patients usually qualify to get medical marijuana for chronic pain even though they cannot qualify through PTSD. Otherwise, many more are self-managing the condition by paying a higher tax for recreational marijuana or even purchasing it on the black market. This leads to inevitable hardship attempting to keep track of the pros and cons of medical cannabis use specific to PTSD patients. And the consequence will be going back to square 1 where we have not enough scientific evidence if the board is going to review again. The cycle can go on and on.

One of the state-funded medical marijuana investigators, Sue Sisley, who is looking at effects on veterans’ PTSD said, “federal policy on marijuana is a prime reason research is scant.”To change this situation, the federal government should be more open to scientific research on cannabis and its cannabinoids. It seems irrational to restrict cannabis when its potential benefits outweigh its minor psychoactive effects compared to the long list of side effects in the commercials of current drugs on the market.

Photo by Ayo Ogunseinde on Unsplash