Medical marijuana should be okayed for vets' PTSD treatment, activists say

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More photos below.
In 2010, Sensible Colorado's Brian Vicente petitioned the Colorado Department of Public Health to add post-traumatic-stress disorder to the list of conditions that can be treated by medical marijuana. This effort not only failed, but it led to a public-relations disaster over untruths spoken by its symbolic backer. However, Vicente hasn't given up. At noon today, he'll lead a group repeating the PTSD request, and he hopes the results will be more positive.

His reasons for optimism?

"There have been more studies that have come out and shown that medical marijuana can effectively help those with PTSD," he says. "And we're also hearing anecdotal stories and reading in the newspaper about it. So we think the science is on our side.

"With the onslaught of veterans coming home from Afghanistan and Iraq with PTSD related to their service, we're hopeful that the cumulative growth in people suffering from this will force the health department to take a second look at it," he adds.

If the CDPHE does so, it'll mark a big departure from its past take on medical marijuana and post-traumatic-stress disorder. In March 2010, the health department actively lobbied against a bill intended to add PTSD to the treatable conditions roster. And the department declined to hold a hearing about Vicente's earlier petition, which made unwanted headlines related to Kevin Grimsinger, the poster boy for the request.

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Kevin Grimsinger.
As you'll recall, Grimsinger was said to have lost both legs while serving in Afghanistan. But the Denver Post subsequently revealed that Grimsinger's military service ended ten years prior to 2001, when he claimed to have been horrifically injured by a land mine. Turns out his amputations took place following a Southern California car crash during which he'd been trying to take his own life.

At today's event, Vicente will be joined by three different veterans: Joseph Hatcher, a onetime Cavalry Scout with the U.S. Army; Robert Wiley, a retired Air Force major; and Wanda James, a past Naval officer and a familiar figure in the local medical marijuana community. And he stresses that all of these vets have been, well, vetted to make certain that none of them have Grimsinger-like skeletons in their closets.

"We've learned from the issue that happened last time," Vicente says. "And it isn't just about them. It's about helping the broader veterans' population in Colorado."

At the same time, though, he stresses the compelling nature of the speakers' tales -- particularly in the case of Hatcher, "a young man who served on the front lines in Iraq for years. He's going to be talking about his experiences there, and the resulting PTSD that he and fellow veterans suffer from -- and how medical marijuana can be used to treat that condition, even though currently its use is illegal under state law. That's what we're trying to change."

Page down to continue reading about PTSD, medical marijuana and today's event.


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Mike
Mike

 There are many post traumatic stress disorder treatment choices. Providers providing Post traumatic stress disorder remedies vary from medical doctors to be able to lizard gas salesman. Steering clear of the latter is usually complicated. During the last couple of years Post traumatic stress disorder features accumulated focus, and therefore fraudsters supplying solutions for this possess been advertised.

Jose Gonzales
Jose Gonzales

All Viet Nam era veterans in prison for non-violent marijuana charges should be pardoned immediately.  Obama is a disgrace as our current leader for his neglect.

Donkey Hotay
Donkey Hotay

And what of the other war-era veterans in prison?

What of the civilians in prison for the same offenses?

Robert Chase
Robert Chase

Release them all now and make hypocrisy a crime instead; that should provide full employment for every American not incarcerated.  Obama deserves a life sentence.

Donkey Hotay
Donkey Hotay

Your hydrophobic hatred of our first Black President notwithstanding, there are 1000s of others way ahead of him in the line to eternal damnation.

Audrey Hatfield
Audrey Hatfield

This is definitely a need and I hope it gets added for our Vets!

Rick Rosio
Rick Rosio

As a cannabis patient and provider we have worked with disabled Vets how are tired of the toxic narcotics that are used far too often, leading to an ever increasing dose and addiction. Cannabis therapy can provide a better way to wellness and healing as our wounded Vets are learning to deal with life with disabilities.There are 16 states with approved cannabis therapy programs and our Vets deserve to have unfettered safe access. www.painmanagementspokane.com  for any vet or family member that have questions please email us and we will help anyway we can

Donkey Hotay
Donkey Hotay

Prevent PTSD = don't engage in unnecessary, arbitrary, unlawful attacks, invasions and occupations of far smaller, weaker and poorer sovereign nations, slaughtering 100,000+ innocent civilians -- women and children -- in the process.

HTH.

guest
guest

In a nation of wars we should issue a joint with every bullet!Peace man,,, 

Sampson
Sampson

 In a nation of Brothers and Sisters, we should learn to never feed the troll.

Please don't feed the troll.

Donkey Hotay
Donkey Hotay

Or force the War Mongers and their children to Deploy First.

Denver WMD
Denver WMD

Cannabis is medicine. We have the science.

sisterlauren
sisterlauren

I have PTSD. I'm a legal cannabis patient in California and it has saved my life. Cannabis is a very safe and highly effective medicine. There is no reason to deny it to anyone who it can help. The prohibition is wrong and it should be eliminated immediately.

The federal prohibition is also illegal. Congress can not legally pass laws prohibiting my religion, but that is exactly what pot prohibition does. There is a vast network of people who enforce this unconstitutional rule against me and people like me and they justify it with their religion and/or racism. That is wrong.

I really do think there are also lots of laws against violating our civil rights like that, and we should sue them in a series of massive class action lawsuits for it. If anyone wants to do it, I've been collecting my receipts for years and I have a lot of damages. I have too much PTSD to handle it on my own, but a cooperative effort may be very, very fruitful.

I have been blogging the whole thing for years at AlterNet so if anyone is interested they can look me up. 

I did that because when I was planning my big event to end the drug war nine years ago, I figured full disclosure was going to be the ONLY way to beat the FBI's standard practice of framing people, eavesdropping and infiltrating liberal political groups in order to discredit them. 

It also created a permanent record of what happened from MY perspective. That is very important to do with an organization as crooked and as all powerful as the FBI.

Donkey Hotay
Donkey Hotay

"Congress can not legally pass laws prohibiting my religion, but that is exactly what pot prohibition does."

You're free to believe in your "religion", but your physical practices of same are limited to the laws of the land.

Do you support Mormons being allowed to legally engage in Polygamy with tweenage girls ?

Steve
Steve

So you're comparing the victimless use of a relatively harmless medicinal herb to the rape and enslavement of underage girls?  Kind of hasty, don't you think?

Donkey Hotay
Donkey Hotay

So do you support absolute Religious Freedom or not?

Robert Chase
Robert Chase

We heard Dr. Gerdeman describe research showing that cannabis can extinguish learned fear in rats (which is an animal model of PTSD) at the Plant Medicine Expo a year and a half ago.  Arizona already has cerified the use of cannabis for PTSD.  Colorado's hidebound medical establishment disdains the People's determination that cannabis is medicine in favor of its ignorant, smug preconceptions.

The roles of chief medical officer and chief bureaucrat at the CDPHE are combined in Dr. Chris Urbina, who continues the Department's covertly hostile approach to medical cannabis, and its failure to fulfill its constitutional duties to the program.  So far from doing what it can to study the therapeutic applications of cannabis or encouraging clinicians to use cannabis appropriately, Urbina and the Department believe that the use of cannabis is a vice which should be regulated by other agencies (despite the explicit assignment of responsibility for the medical cannabis program by the Constitution to the state health agency) and that their job is to discourage its use.  This is why veterans should not expect any deviation from the line that cannabis has not been proven effective in the treatment of PTSD -- Urbina may be expected to stick with this despite a mountain of evidence to the contrary.  Thank Governor Hack for the continued misdirection of the Department of Health!

P.S. Correction: New Mexico has certified cannabis for the treament of PTSD and Arizona is considering it.

sisterlauren
sisterlauren

Urbina and the Department believe that the use of cannabis is a vice which should be regulated by other agencies

What evidence if any does he use to support his assertion that cannabis use is a vice? 

If it is his own religious view, I don't think that is enough as it deprives others of their rights. I don't think anyone has the right to impose their religious views on others - especially people working for the state, and as far as I can see he has no other reason for calling it a vice except for his own religion. Do you know of any?

Robert Chase
Robert Chase

Your question should be addressed to Dr. Urbina, but I was just making an obvious, blanket statement -- very many people who do not use cannabis (who comprise ~80% of the population of Colorado) believe that the use of cannabis is a vice.  Your reaction smacks of the self-absorption plaguing the movement to end Prohibition.

There are many arguments against Prohibition, some very much stronger than others.  While I accept that cannabis has both medicinal and sacramental uses, I do not believe that we will overturn Prohibition based on such arguments.  It is not necessary or sensible to try to persuade the electorate that the use of a mild euphoriant is not a vice -- all we need to do is point out the objective lack of harm resulting from the use of cannabis and demand that our laws respect our civil rights and that fact.

guest
guest

Im a legal patient and i also use cannabis to treat my PTSD. Dept of Health needs to add PTSD to the list because cannabis has turned my life around and made me a productive member of society again. I couldnt walk without severe pain for over 2 years and cannabis has relieved my pain and im going back to work now. While useing cannabis for severe pain i learned it works well on my PTSD also. ADD IT TO THE LIST !

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