A loud and clear rejection to adding PTSD to the list of ailments medically treated with cannabis echoed from the packed house where the Colorado Board of Health voted.
A resounding defeat for advocates of including PTSD among medical conditions treated with cannabis translated into 6 votes against the proposal and just 2 for.
The vote took place on Wednesday, with witnesses declaiming the decision as unfair and inconsiderate to the lives of veterans who have reported increased life quality due to cannabis usage for PTSD.
The proposal to include medical cannabis as a treatment for PTSD came from Colorado’s chief medical officer. It mirrored the requests of many veterans and advocates who have repeatedly stated that typical treatments including opioids, antidepressants, antipsychotics or others either posed a vast array of different problems or decreased life quality in relation to their condition.
John Evans, the director of Veterans 4 Freedoms claimed:
“It is our brothers and sisters who are committing suicide every day. We know cannabis can help. We’re not going to go away. We’ve legalized it. We’ll take the tax dollars from out tourists before we’ll help our vets”.
Although the Colorado Board of Health comprised nine member, one was absent. The six members who voted against the proposal stated that anecdotal evidence cannot bring about change. Medical studies with trialed results have to run their course before an informed decision is taken.
Tony Cappello, the president of the Colorado Board of Health held this argument as the silverline of the negative vote. At the same time, it may be useful to note that neither the American nor the Colorado psychiatric associations support the treatment of PTSD with medical marijuana.
One of the Colorado Board of Health members, Joan Sowinski, who is an occupational health consultant stated that his positive vote was owed to the persuasive accounts of what the others called anecdotal evidence.
Nine other U.S. states included PTSD on the list of medical conditions treated by the use of medical marijuana. Colorado’s chief medical officer, Doctor Larry Wolk would have liked to see Colorado become the 10th state to do the same.
Yet, due to the opposition, he suggested that the decision be revised in four years’ time when two studies looking at PTSD treatment by medical marijuana and funded at the state level are due.
Contacted for a comment, Sue Sisley, lead of one of the studies stated that federal policy regarding the use of medical marijuana is stalling research efforts. The main reason: at the federal level, the drug in case, marijuana is still illegal.
Meanwhile, transparent data on marijuana usage by PTSD affected veterans is scarce, with some indications that while prescribed for other medical conditions, Colorado veterans do use it indeed for treating PTSD.
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