Colorado Rejects PTSD Eligibility for Medical Cannabis
The Board of Health voted 6-2 Wednesday against adding PTSD to the list of ailments treatable by cannabis. The rejection came despite a recommendation of approval from Colorado’s chief medical officer and a panel of physicians. But board members cited lack of research and medical trials.
Attendees of Wednesday’s PTSD vote in Denver were quick to point out that none of the medical conditions currently eligible for state medical marijuana cards, including AIDS, epilepsy, and glaucoma, have the same kind of scientific backing the board mentioned. And nine states already list PTSD as a qualifying condition without any negative consequences.
“People are going to use it anyway,” said Dr. Sue Sisley, reminding everyone that they were in Colorado where PTSD sufferers can just head to their local recreational dispensary. Patients can also get a doctor’s recommendation for the broad category of “severe pain,” which covers more than 90 percent of the 113,000 Coloradans on the state medical cannabis registry. “This just provides better access to different strains under a physician’s guidance,” Sisley said.
The chief medical officer, Dr. Larry Wolk, told the board that adding PTSD would make the registry more “honest.”
Representative Jonathan Singer said he would propose a bill next year to circumvent the need to go through the Board of Health to add PTSD to the registry.
“We have to balance our science and our humanity together,” he said.