PTSD Sufferers Qualify for Medical Marijuana

Discussion in 'Cannabis Activism' started by DdC, Oct 14, 2013.

  1. DdC

    DdC Member

    PTSD Sufferers Qualify for Medical Marijuana
    CN Staff October 14, 2013
    By Alanna Durkin, Associated Press
    Augusta -- A new state law allowing veterans and others suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder to be prescribed medical marijuana will help them live a normal life, advocates and veterans say.

    Under the law that went into effect Wednesday, PTSD joins cancer, glaucoma, hepatitis C and others on the list of conditions patients must have to qualify for medical marijuana use in Maine.

    Hundreds of Maine veterans already use marijuana to treat PTSD, but they weren’t previously able to get it from their doctors, said Paul McCarrier, legislative liaison for the Medical Marijuana Caregivers of Maine.

    “This unties the hands of doctors to allow them to treat their patients,” he said.

    Retired Marine Corps Sgt. Ryan Begin is one of those veterans already using the drug. Begin lost 4 inches of his right arm, including his elbow, from an IED explosion during his second tour in Iraq in 2004. He started using medical marijuana to deal with the pain, but it has also helped manage his PTSD, which caused flashbacks and nightmares, he said.

    “It balances me,” the 33-year-old Belfast resident said. “Instead of being on a roller coaster ... you’re more even keeled. ... You don’t get too far up, and you don’t get too far down.”

    Maine voters legalized marijuana for medical purposes in 1999 and approved a law creating a statewide network of marijuana dispensaries 10 years later. Twenty states and the District of Columbia have legalized medical marijuana use, but only six other states allow its use for PTSD, according to the Marijuana Policy Project, a D.C.-based advocacy group.

    Gordon Smith, executive vice president of the Maine Medical Association, said the question of medical marijuana use for PTSD treatment is contentious among the medical community.

    “We heard both from doctors who felt that particularly people coming back from Afghanistan might be assisted (by it), and we heard from doctors who thought there was not a sound evidentiary basis for it,” Smith said.

    Because the drug is still illegal under federal law, there is a lack of federally funded studies on medical marijuana. That has been a challenge to understanding its impact on various conditions, Smith said.

    The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs changed its policy on medical marijuana in 2011 to ensure veterans using medical marijuana in states where it’s legal aren’t punished, said Michael Krawitz, director of the Virginia-based group Veterans for Cannabis Access. But VA doctors still can’t recommend medical marijuana for treatment or provide documentation to get it.

    McCarrier said he suspects the new law will bring many new patients into Maine’s medical marijuana program, which had more than 1,450 patients registered with the state in 2012.

    Efforts to expand the program to include more qualifying conditions will likely continue in Maine. The first draft of the proposed law would have allowed doctors to prescribe marijuana for any condition they deemed necessary. But the Maine Medical Association opposed that, saying that expanding the program to virtually every condition could essentially legalize recreational marijuana use.

    Begin said the new law will be a huge step forward for veterans struggling with PTSD. That’s because marijuana doesn’t cause the negative side effects that prescription medication can, like feelings of weakness or depression, but instead allows patients to stay medicated while remaining social and productive, he said.

    “Just because they have to take medication, they shouldn’t be put on the sidelines of life,” he said.

    CannabisNews Medical Marijuana Archives
    http://cannabisnews.com/news/list/medical.shtml

    And the bewildered herd is still believing
    Everything we’ve been told from our birth
    Hell they won’t lie to me
    Not on my own damn TV
    But how much is a liars word worth
    And whatever happened to peace on earth
    ~Willie Nelson

    [​IMG]

    Ganja 4 PTSD & Depression
    http://endingcannabisprohibition.yuku.com/topic/1632
    Veterans for Medical Marijuana Access
    http://endingcannabisprohibition.yuku.com/sreply/355/
    Military Veterans Say Pot Eases PTSD
    http://endingcannabisprohibition.yuku.com/sreply/396/
    Veterans Form Pro-Legal Marijuana Group
    http://endingcannabisprohibition.yuku.com/sreply/460

    On Afghan War Anniversary
    Vets Confront Mental Health Crisis,
    Soldier Suicides and Violence


    VA prescribes/opposes addictive drugs for PTSD
    http://endingcannabisprohibition.yuku.com/sreply/586
    Why U.S. Vets Are Fighting for Medical Marijuana
    http://endingcannabisprohibition.yuku.com/sreply/590

    [​IMG]

    Cannabis, the Importance of Forgetting

    Many Veterans are the Enemy of the D.E.A.th War
    Sam Stone came home, To his wife and family After serving in the conflict overseas. And the time that he served, Had shattered all his nerves, And left a little shrapnel in his knee. But the morphine eased the pain, And the grass grew round his brain, And gave him all the confidence he lacked, With a Purple Heart and a monkey on his back...

    Sam Stone's welcome home Didn't last too long. He went to work when he'd spent his last dime And Sammy took to stealing When he got that empty feeling For a hundred dollar habit without overtime. And the gold rolled through his veins Like a thousand railroad trains, And eased his mind in the hours that he chose, While the kids ran around wearin' other peoples' clothes...

    Sam Stone was alone When he popped his last balloon Climbing walls while sitting in a chair Well, he played his last request While the room smelled just like D.E.A.th With an overdose hovering in the air But life had lost its fun And there was nothing to be done But trade his house that he bought on the G.I. Bill For a flag draped casket on a local heroes' hill...

    There's a hole in daddy's arm where all the money goes, Jesus Christ died for nothin' I suppose. Little pitchers have big ears, Don't stop to count the years, Sweet songs never last too long on broken radios. Mmmmm....
    Sam Stone * John Prine * Souvenirs

    Sterile Syringes Prevent Spreading Disease... Duh!
    Value of needle exchanges accepted by U.S. government
    White House moves to fund needle exchanges as drug treatment
    The Obama administration has designated intravenous needle exchanges as a drug treatment program, allowing federal money set aside to treat addictions to be used to distribute syringes to narcotics users.

    New Law in CA Will Expand Use Of Drug To Combat Overdoses

    Health Canada Approves Heroin Maintenance
    Sep 26 2013
    Last Friday, Health Canada used some creative rule-reading to approve a program that would provide prescription heroin to a small number of hard-core users, and the Conservative health minister isn't happy.

    [​IMG]
    VMMA

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JuQlL5XZU8c"]"What happened to peace on earth?" - YouTube
     

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