Colorado Rejects Giving PTSD Patients Access To Medical Marijuana

Colorado rejected adding post-traumatic stress disorder to the list of conditions that qualify for treatment with medical marijuana on Wednesday.

After hours of emotional testimony from researchers, veterans and others who suffer from PTSD, the state Board of Health voted 6-2 not to include the disorder on the list of eligible conditions, citing a lack of science supporting marijuana’s medical efficacy in treating PTSD. Had the board approved the amendment, PTSD would have been the first new ailment added to the list since Colorado’s medical marijuana program began about 15 years ago. The board has rejected including PTSD twice before.

“We’ve let down our veterans today, and [the Board of Health] should be ashamed. I really believed that this year it would pass, especially since it only failed by one vote last year,” said Sean Azzariti, an Iraq War veteran and marijuana policy reform activist. “It’s truly a sad day in Colorado.”

The state is one of 23, along with the District of Columbia, that have legalized marijuana for medical purposes, and it was the first of of four states and D.C. to legalize recreational cannabis for adults. It would have been the 10th state to add PTSD as a qualifying condition to obtain medical marijuana.

Colorado’s constitution already allows medical marijuana to be recommended by doctors for eight conditions, including cancer, HIV/AIDS, seizures and chronic pain.

The Board of Health had been expected to approve the change after Dr. Larry Wolk, the state’s chief medical officer, recommended it. Wolk had testified against the move in 2014, but changed his mind earlier this year in light of evidence that many people with PTSD who identified severe pain as their ailment were already registered to receive medical marijuana.

“We don’t want people to suffer as a result of not being able to access [the —> Read More