Colorado veterans and others suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) can now have access to cannabis medicine through the state’s medical marijuana program.
On Monday, Governor John Hickenlooper put his seal of approval on a bill that gives doctors the freedom to provide patients living in the grips of this severe anxiety disorder with a recommendation for marijuana.
Reports indicate that patients diagnosed with this condition should be able to get their hands on cannabis products within the next week.
It is a move that has taken years to achieve. The state Board of Health, which oversees the program, has simply refused to allow PTSD to be added to the mix because its members are not convinced there is enough scientific evidence to prove marijuana is effective in treating the condition.
The Board’s refusal eventually prompted a lawsuit against the state, which still lingers in state court to this day.
Although Colorado is a fully legal jurisdiction, medical marijuana advocates have argued, for years, that it was not always conducive for PTSD patients to lean on the recreational sector because of high taxes and other critical factors.
Many of the folks who need marijuana to help them live with this debilitating condition require a more therapeutic approach than what is provided at commercial dispensaries.
As with any treatment, it is not always as easy as just using marijuana and expecting to feel better. Patients with PTSD sometimes need expert guidance when selecting the strains shown to be most effective in treating the disorder, as well as when it comes to learning the proper dosages to consume and still remain functional in their daily lives.
Some of the latest data shows that nearly 8 percent of the American population will experience PTSD in their lifetime. Military veterans and people who have suffered domestic and sexual abuse are the ones most likely to be affected. For some, the symptoms of the condition are only temporary, while others need continuous therapy and medication just to get by.
Colorado joins 19 other states and a few U.S. territories that now allow patients with PTSD to have access to cannabis medicine.