Colorado Denies Medical Marijuana Treatment For PTSD

Colorado has been the leading force behind the medical marijuana debate. In fact, the state was the first to legalize recreational marijuana. So it seems odd that Colorado would refuse to add post traumatic stress disorder to the list of medical problems treated by the drug, which include AIDS, glaucoma, persistent muscle spasms, seizures, cancer, severe pain, and severe nausea.

In July, the Colorado Board of Health angered many with its decision denying medical marijuana treatment for PTSD patients, despite the recommendation of chief medical officer Dr. Larry Wolk, director of Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment. According to ABC News, the reason medical marijuana was not allowed to treat PTSD is the lack of federal research showing a benefit in patients treated with marijuana. The motion was voted down by a 6-2 vote.

Subsequently, a lawsuit was filed in the Denver District Court by five PTSD patients in the hopes of overturning the decision. One might wonder why patients hoping to benefit from medical marijuana would have an issue with the decision, considering marijuana is readily available all over the state for those over the age of 21.

Apparently, the perks of having access to medical marijuana far outweigh the alternative. The tax on medical cannabis is 2.9 percent, compared to 25 percent for recreational use. Also, those approved to use the drug for medical treatment are allowed to possess two ounces of marijuana rather than the standard one ounce.

The Denver Post reports that attorney Bob Hoban has taken the case against Colorado. He believes the board of health did not adhere to proper standards when they denied the use of medical marijuana to PTSD sufferers.

“The board in effect established a standard that was impossible to meet. They insist on having a federal study, which in effect is a futile standard.”

Hoban represents Larisa Bolivar, Stephen Otero, Curtis Bean, Matthew Kahl, and Zach Phillips. Each of these plaintiffs are seeking access to medical marijuana for PTSD, resulting either from military experience or sexual abuse suffered as a child.

What do you think about the medical marijuana debate? Should Colorado allow medical marijuana for PTSD?

[Image via 10 TV]

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