Colorado Board of Health Votes Against Medical Marijuana for PTSD

By May Wilkerson 07/15/15

This is the third time the Colorado Board of Health has rejected the proposal.

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Today, the Colorado Board of Health rejected a proposal to make patients with PTSD eligible for medical marijuana treatment. This is the third time the Colorado Board of Health has voted against this initiative, claiming there is not enough research to support MMJ as a viable treatment for PTSD. Some even argued that pot could increase chances of mental illness.

The state's chief medical officer, Dr. Larry Wolk had recommended that PTSD be added to the list of qualifying conditions for four years on a trial basis. Though opposed to it in the past, he said his mind was changed after evidence showed that a number of patients with PTSD are already receiving the treatment, citing severe pain as their condition.

"We don't want people to suffer as a result of not being able to access (the registry) honestly," said Wolk earlier this year.

But ultimately, only two board members voted yes to include PTSD as a medical marijuana condition. The decision was made after “emotional testimony” from a veteran, who said medical marijuana had helped him and his family cope with the disorder.

Marijuana is legal in Colorado for adults age 21 and up, but taxed at a whopping 19% for recreational use. Medical pot is much more affordable, taxed at 2.9%, and medical patients are permitted to have up to two ounces at a time, compared to only one ounce for everyone else.

Also many medical pot patients are under 21. As of May this year, there were about 113,000 people listed on the state’s medical marijuana registry, and about 6,300 of them were minors.

In Colorado, patients need a doctor’s recommendation to use medical marijuana. The treatment is currently approved for eight conditions, including cancer, AIDS, and nausea, but more than 93% of patients list severe pain as their ailment.

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May Wilkerson is a writer, comic and Managing Editor @someecards. Co-host of the podcast Crazy; In Bed w/alyssalimp. She is also the top Google result for "insufferable lunatic." Follow this insufferable lunatic on Twitter.