Colorado moving toward making PTSD eligible for medical pot
The Associated Press
DENVER — Colorado may add post-traumatic stress disorder as a condition to be treated with medical marijuana — a dramatic turnaround after years of rejecting appeals to make PTSD the first ailment added to the state’s medical pot program since it was approved by voters in 2000.
The addition of PTSD would be the first mental-health disorder for which Colorado doctors could recommend pot.
Colorado’s chief medical officer, Dr. Larry Wolk, will forward the addition to the full Board of Health for approval this fall. The addition would be a dramatic turnaround for an agency that has rejected PTSD at least three times for inclusion on the marijuana registry.
The change comes after Colorado assembled a panel of doctors and medical marijuana advocates to review studies about the drug’s medical potential. The new Medical Marijuana Scientific Advisory Council made the recommendation Friday.
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“It’s momentous,” said Brian Vicente, a longtime marijuana legalization supporter who led efforts for years to add PTSD to Colorado’s medical marijuana registry. “It’s contributing to the legitimization of marijuana.”
If the Board of Health approves the change, Colorado would become the 10th state to consider PTSD a condition eligible for pot.
Colorado last year awarded about $3.4 million to two medical studies of using the drug for treatment of PTSD. Those studies are just getting underway.
Wolk did not immediately respond to questions Monday about the PTSD change. Wolk personally testified last year against a bill in the Legislature to add PTSD to the registry.
Colorado currently has about 114,000 people on the medical marijuana registry. They all have a doctor’s recommendation for using the drug to treat one of eight debilitating conditions, ranging from cancer and AIDS to severe pain and nausea.
The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment oversees the registry. The department will request a hearing about the PTSD addition in June, with a public hearing on the question expected in September.
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