On July 17th, Washington state was the 11th state to add Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and traumatic brain injuries into list of qualifying conditions for medical cannabis. Unfortunately, Colorado state has rejected to do the same about a week before Washington’s decision due to lack of scientific evidence to prove its safe and effectiveness.
This might be bad news for a lot of veterans.
“A dozen of the veterans who testified said cannabis has saved their lives. Many said drugs legally prescribed to them for PTSD at veterans clinics or by other doctors — antidepressants, antipsychotics, opioids and others — nearly killed them or robbed them of quality of life.”
For the others who could not acquire cannabis or receive suitable treatment or help, committing suicide is one of their way out of the PTSD torture.
“Pot helped, he said. Cammarata (one of the US Army medic served in Iraq) figures it probably kept him from committing suicide during years living in the Netherlands.
But he didn’t find full relief until he combined the drug with counseling, exercise, meditation, hypnosis and other therapy. …
An average of 22 veterans commit suicide daily, according to one estimate from the Department of Veterans Affairs.”
In fact, some PTSD patients usually qualify to get medical marijuana for chronic pain even though they cannot qualify through PTSD. Otherwise, many more are self-managing the condition by paying a higher tax for recreational marijuana or even black market. This leads to hardship to keep track of the pros and cons of medical cannabis use specific to PTSD patients. And the consequence will be going back to square 1 where we have not enough scientific evidences if the board is going to review again. The cycle can go on and on.
“One of the state-funded medical marijuana investigators, Sue Sisley, who is looking at effects on veterans’ PTSD, said federal policy on marijuana is a prime reason research is scant.”
To change this situation, the federal government should be more open to scientific research on cannabis and its cannabinoids. It seems irrational to restrict on cannabis where its potential benefits can outweigh its minor psychoactive effects comparing to the long list of side effects in the commercials of current drugs in the market.