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PTSD Patients in Arizona Ask for Chronic Relief

PTSD Patients in Arizona Ask for Chronic Relief

Posted by Marijuana Doctors on 05/21/2012 in Medical Marijuana Conditions

Arizonans who suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder are hoping to get the same medicinal options as those who are diagnosed with seizures or glaucoma. These individuals are longing for the right to use marijuana as dictated for medicinal purposes.

Vast amounts of petitions have been filed in pertinence to adding PTSD to the specific list of medical conditions that voters approved two years ago for medicinal marijuana. These petitions have all been filed to Arizona Health Director Will Humble, who will conduct a hearing later this month and likely issue a ruling sometime in August.

Those who suffer from PTSD are not the only ones who are hoping to add marijuana as a treatment option, as other petitioners are asking to make the drug an option to treat migraines, general anxiety disorder and even depression. 

The 2010 voter-approved Proposition 23 lists specified conditions that can be treated with the use of marijuana, ranging from glaucoma and AIDS to chronic or debilitating conditions which may lead to severe and chronic pain, seizures, severe nausea and severe and persistent muscle spasms. Nonetheless, medical marijuana has been demonstrated in numerous studies, and by physician recommendations in other medical marijuana states, to be efficacious for many conditions, including PTSD. 

Potential users must first receive such a diagnosis from a licensed physician along with a recommendation that the drug would help. This allows the patient to receive a state-issued medical marijuana card that would allow them to obtain as much as two and a half ounces of marijuana every two weeks.

Health Director Humble noted the some of the petitions contain first-person reports of how their conditions were greatly improved with the illegal use of the drug. Then there are others who have various magazine and news articles attached.  The only thing in short supply would be the full-blow double-blind peer-reviewed laboratory studies that produce stone cold and hard facts. Humble also noted that without these studies, he is powerless to expand the legal uses of marijuana.

When reviewing all of the petitions, some more personal than others, Humble said those with personal stories and experiences can show up at a hearing that’s held on May 25th. Humble said, “But what would be most compelling is if somebody shows up to a hearing with a scientifically reviewed, published (medical) journal article … and hands that in as part of the petition process, that would be the most compelling.”

Humble conceded there does not appear to be a lot out of research out there, especially the kind of studies that make it into those two renowned medical periodicals. Some of that may be because the federal government still list marijuana as a Schedule 1 drug, meaning there is no known medical use for it. The United States Drug Enforcement Administration has not been generous in providing the necessary federal permits for research facilities to grow the drug to conduct the experiments, so Humble is willing to look elsewhere, noting there has been some research in Israel.

Humble noted that existing law already allows doctors to recommend marijuana for any chronic medical condition that causes “severe and chronic pain,” something that may include migraines. In fact, he said, that condition is so broad that more than 88 percent of the more than 25,000 applications for the use of medical marijuana cite severe and chronic pain as at least one of the medical conditions entitling someone to use it.

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