LANSING – Residents in Michigan suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) may soon be allowed to treat their symptoms with medical marijuana if their doctors recommend it. The Michigan Medical Marihuana Review Panel appointed by the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs has decided to recommend that the department add PTSD to the list of qualifying conditions for medical marijuana. It is now up to Steve Arwood, Director of the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs, to accept or reject the recommendation.
“There is mounting evidence demonstrating the benefits of medical marijuana for individuals suffering from PTSD,” said Chris Lindsey, legislative analyst for the Marijuana Policy Project. “The panel should be commended for recommending that veterans and those who have experienced traumatic events, such as domestic abuse, be allowed to use medical marijuana to alleviate their PTSD and live healthy and productive lives. They deserve our compassion and support.
“Seven other states already allow the use of medical marijuana in the treatment of PTSD. We hope Michigan will be next,” Lindsey said. “The Marijuana Policy Project joins patient advocates in Michigan in urging the director to adopt this recommendation quickly to provide relief for this devastating condition.”
Research and anecdotal evidence have shown that medical marijuana can alleviate common symptoms of PTSD, such as anxiety and traumatic memories. The federal government has blocked efforts to conduct clinical trials to further explore the potential benefits of medical marijuana in the treatment of the condition. There are approximately 7.7 million American adults suffering from PTSD, according to the National Institute of Mental Health.
Twenty states and Washington, D.C. allow patients with qualifying conditions to use medical marijuana with recommendations from their physicians. Of these, California, Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Massachusetts, New Mexico, and Oregon allow doctors to recommend medical marijuana to patients suffering from PTSD. Additionally, when retail stores opened in Colorado on January 1 and began selling marijuana to adults, the first customer was Sean Azzariti, an Iraq war veteran with PTSD, who was previously unable to legally access marijuana because his condition was not covered by Colorado’s medical marijuana law.