COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — Post-traumatic stress disorder is not one of the conditions that doctors in Colorado can prescribe medical marijuana for, but a new bill going through the state legislature would change all that.
Senate Bill 17 passed the state senate with a vote of 34-1.
It’s now moving on to the house.
The main goal of the bill is to add PTSD to the list of conditions that can be prescribed medical marijuana – which already includes cancer, severe pain, and seizures.
According to the Wounded Warrior Project, over 500,000 veterans are diagnosed with PTSD, so this could mean a big difference in people’s lives.
Robert Rhodes is an American Legion Department Services Officer.
He works with two to three veterans a day suffering from PTSD.
“They go through alienation, they don’t like to be around people, and their anxiety is extremely high. You’re so afraid of things around you get agitated easily. You can watch anything on TV and that can set off your PTSD,” said Rhodes.
One Colorado hemp company has partnered with a Harvard professor to find out the effects of treating PTSD with medical marijuana.
“The research and the results that we’ve seen from patient reported outcomes and PTSD and ancillary things that fall from that, like depression and anxiety, has been overwhelming with what the patients report in mood stabilization,” said the director of new business at CW Hemp Josh Stanley.
Currently, a veteran with PTSD would most likely have a cocktail of medications.
“Things like Xanax and Valium, things like anti-depressants, Prozac, Zoloft. We understand that those carry inherent risks,” said Stanley.
Some veterans are already choosing an alternative to those medicines.
Without medical marijuana, they’re turning to recreational.
“Which is not tailored towards PTSD, so putting it bluntly, they’re doping up just to stay calm, and it’s not really helping them as much as it could be,” said Rhodes.
This new bill would change everything.
“This would help a lot, because the doctors can regulate in the state of Colorado to help those soldiers with PTSD,” said Rhodes.
This would also impact anyone else diagnosed with PTSD, including victims of domestic violence, victims of sexual assault, someone dealing with severe grief from the tragic death of a loved one, and even people who have been in car accidents.