Marijuana: Bill to add medical pot to approved PTSD treatments faces important test

army.ptsd.jpg
Photo courtesy of the U.S. Army
For at least four years, local marijuana activists have fought to have post-traumatic stress disorder added to the list of conditions that can be legally treated with medical marijuana in Colorado -- and each time, they've failed.

Now, however, advocates are hoping legislation scheduled to be heard by a House committee today will provide a breakthrough. Details, photos and the complete bill below.

This isn't the first time activists have taken the legislative route. In March 2010, as we've reported, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment actively lobbied against a bill intended to add PTSD to the treatable conditions roster. In addition, the department declined to hold a hearing about a petition on the topic requested by Sensible Colorado's Brian Vicente -- an effort that led to unwanted headlines related to Kevin Grimsinger, the poster boy for the effort.

kevin grimsinger photo.jpg
Kevin Grimsinger.
You'll recall that Grimsinger was said to have lost both legs while serving in Afghanistan. But the Denver Post subsequently revealed 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.

This series of events didn't dissuade Vicente from revisiting the topic of PTSD and medical marijuana. He tried petitioning the health department again in May 2012, and at that time, he was optimistic that the request would be greeted more favorably.

"There have been more studies that have come out and shown that medical marijuana can effectively help those with PTSD," Vicente told us. "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 added.

Nonetheless, the CDPHE was no more receptive to blessing marijuana use for post-traumatic-stress-disorder treatment than it had been two years earlier. So eight legislators, including representatives Steve Lebsock, KC Becker, Joann Ginal and Dan Pabon, have created a new measure, House Bill 14-1364, to address the issue again.

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Art Way.
We've included the complete document below -- and legislation doesn't get much simpler. The two-page bill "adds post-traumatic stress disorder to the list of debilitating medical conditions for the purposes of the use of medical marijuana," it states, with a safety clause noting that "the general assembly hereby finds, determines, and declares that this act is necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health, and safety."

The need for such a change is underscored by Art Way, head of the Drug Policy Alliance's Colorado office. In an e-mail blast, he calls the continuing absence of PTSD from approved conditions a "major gap" in health support for veterans.

"On average, a veteran commits suicide every hour in the United States," he notes, adding, "Medical marijuana is a harm reduction tool that can help to stem this epidemic. But Colorado veterans who use marijuana to manage their symptoms of PTSD risk losing their Veterans Administration (VA) benefits.

"Veterans should not have to risk punishment for using marijuana - especially in the state of Colorado," he adds.

According to Way, the measure is slated to be considered today by the House committee on State, Military and Veterans Affairs.

Here's the bill:

House Bill 14-1364

Send your story tips to the author, Michael Roberts.

More from our Marijuana archive circa May 2012: "Medical marijuana should be okayed for vets' PTSD treatment, activists say."

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41 comments
DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

Marijuana McShyster Lawyer and Dispensary Cartel Clowns Indicted by Feds


Feds: Four men diverted Colombian cash into Colorado marijuana business


The largest federal raids ever of Colorado's medical-marijuana industry culminated Monday in the indictment of four people on accusations they funneled and laundered hundreds of thousands of dollars from Colombia to buy a Denver warehouse.


The allegations in the case, detailed for the first time Monday, paint a picture of international money transfers, a marijuana dispensary owner on the lam, high-dollar cultivation facilities, and a car trunk full of cash. If convicted, the defendants could be sentenced to decades in prison.


"This is a money-laundering case," Jeffrey Dorschner, a spokesman for the U.S. attorney's office in Colorado, said after a court hearing Monday.


Named in the indictment are brothers Luis and Gerardo Uribe, 28 and 33, respectively; attorney David Furtado, 48; and Colombian citizen Hector Diaz, 49. 


Both Uribes and Furtado were among the owners of the more than a dozen medical-marijuana businesses that Drug Enforcement Administration and Internal Revenue Service



Furtado and Luis Uribe made a brief court appearance Monday wearing the gray T-shirts and casual slacks they were apparently wearing when they were arrested Friday. Neither spoke during the hearing, other than to tell federal magistrate judge Boyd Boland that they understood their rights. They were ordered held without bond until Thursday, when prosecutors will say whether they want to hold the pair longer.

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx



Legal Tip for Dispensary Fools -- if your "lawyer" conspires, aids and abets you in the violation of Federal Criminal Drug and Money Laundering laws, you no longer have an attorney, you have a co-defendant and future cellmate.


Marijuana McShysters take note, your avaricious delusions of invulnerability have been shattered by reality.


hth.

Ell Marree
Ell Marree

good luck getting anything done in a timely way with the VA...sorry to say, but its true...a shame\

Ell Marree
Ell Marree

come on, poop or get off the pot....who is to judge what illnesses are alleviated by canabis, oil or any marijauna...let folks with ptsd get relief...stop the bs and lets get on with life

Maat Human
Maat Human

maybe soldiers should smoke weed BEFORE they join the army and then maybe they wont...

Joe Cherry
Joe Cherry

It's bullshit that any employer can turn you down. Even when prescribed, even when legal rec. They can't fire you for a beer after work, but they can for bud after work.

Johnny Martinez
Johnny Martinez

Oh some don't get anything. You have to qualify for benefits. It would be 6 month before you hear anything by mail, From the VA. Half of the people who applied get denied. Plus multiple evaluations to see what drugs they can use mess you with. And the one drug is recommended for people they wouldn't give. That is medical marjauna.

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

Lyin' Brian Vicente has ZERO CREDIBILITY!


He should be indicted and sent to prison with the other Marijuana McShysters -- David Furtado and Dallan Dirkmaat.


..


Sarah Levy
Sarah Levy

I don't think that is true, I know someone with PTSD who has their medical license and even if this is true who cares, pot is legal to buy anyways, even if it may be a little more expensive, from what I heard

RustyShackleford
RustyShackleford

Let me know when cannabis therapy is finally indicated for chronic Republicanism. 

Betel Eli Guese
Betel Eli Guese

PTSD can not be treated with medicine. Its a emotion. Memories, Guilt, Psychological pain. Not to mention its illegal to have a gun if you smoke pot. This can be a excuse to take guns away from vets.

Matt Stys
Matt Stys

Yes. It must be added and it is indeed legitimate.

Deb Bialik Schmidt
Deb Bialik Schmidt

If they can use diagnoses of anxiety and ADD or ADHD for teens and young adults....why wouldn't they allow veterans that have seen some horrific things and re-live their days in the war everyday to have access to something that may make their days more peaceful? Seriously people? This government needs to get their heads out of the sand and JUST DO IT!!! Most are likely using it anyway, so let's make it easier for them to access it. They can get any number of psych meds with a myriad of side effects from their local pharmacy....keeping our big pharmaceutical companies pockets full...but can't LEGALLY gain access to a PLANT!! I just don't understand it...SMH!

Matthew Allman
Matthew Allman

Medical marijuana saved my life. The VA had me on 6 different pills all of which can and will kill you. I was 318lbs and my cholesterol was 368, and I was hallucinating so bad that I tried to kill myself my first year out. My wife actually tried to get me to try it, and because I was desperate I did. To my surprise it wasn't like people make it out to be. It doesn't do anything other than keep you calm and focus on one thing at a time. Now a couple years later I'm 100lbs lighter my back pain is tolerable, and I'm just finishing up my first semester at CCD. Desperate what people say about pot making you dumb I've got all A's, well except FO Spanish I got a B, but learning another language tough.

Robin Medina
Robin Medina

It's available but they still require Federal approval which is complete crap considering the fact that since marijuana became legal in Colorado it has pumped +$300,000,000, into the economy.

Matt C. Salyer
Matt C. Salyer

Recreational marijuana is medical medical. Did you think that there was difference ? #breakthetabo

Kirby Shane Simmons
Kirby Shane Simmons

i really wish this would come true. it helps me soooooo much more than pills.

RobertChase
RobertChase topcommenter

Michael, the details surely include the time and place of the hearing:  HB14-1364 will be heard before the State, Veterans, and Military Affairs Committee today at 1:30pm in Room A of the Legislative Services Building (at the SE corner of Sherman St. and 14th Ave.); it is the third bill on the agenda for that committee.  This is one of the very few bills concerning cannabis ever considered by the General Assembly that would benefit Coloradans, especially the swelling tide of veterans so afflicted.

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

... nothing stopping them from buying overpriced overtaxed recreational bud ... unless they are under 21 years old, then the Authors of A64 decided they should be DENIED ANY LEGAL ACCESS to rec. marijuana.



DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

^^^ comment of the day! ^^^

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

... that bullshit was written into Amendment 20 and Amendment 64 by the Stupid Stoners and Pot Proponents THEMSELVES !!


How stupid was that?

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@Sarah Levy  " I know someone with PTSD who has their medical license "


1) it isn't a license, it is a physician recommendation that is optionally registered with the CDPHE


2) he didn't get that mmj recommendation for PTSD, as it is not an authorized condition.



Like the vast majority who game the mmj system, he likely claimed "chronic pain" as his excuse.

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@RustyShackleford  ... perhaps LSD therapy would be required.

RobertChase
RobertChase topcommenter

"This" -- cannabis, or PTSD?  The violation of the confidentiality of the patient register with regard to gun licenses seems to be established, but it  does not excuse denying those suffering from PTSD the right to use cannabis as a medicine.  Studies are underway to determine the efficacy of cannabis in treating PTSD -- your unsupported assertion that it isn't to the contrary.

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

... they can simply purchase Overpriced, Overtaxed, Over-regulated, Government Controlled Warehouse Weed from the nearest Greedy Big $$ Recreational Dispensary Cartel.



DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

... HipTip: don't commit War Crimes and other Atrocities Against Humanity and you won't be righteously afflicted with PTSD by the gods of karma.


hth.

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@RobertChase  ... 


HipTip: "Veterans" aren't the only citizens suffering from PTSD ... in fact they are only a small MINORITY of sufferers.


Stop cowering behind Faux Patriotism and Military Sycophantery.


RobertChase
RobertChase topcommenter

@DonkeyHotay  It might; the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies is undertaking the scientific study of a number of recreational drugs which show great promise in treating a variety of illnesses.  To cite a single example, ketamine can apparently relieve major depression not treated effectively with any of the anti-depressants now in the pharmacopeia, and it does so almost immediately, as opposed to requiring weeks of therapy before efficacy or lack thereof can be determined, as is the case with currently approved anti-depressants.

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@RobertChase  "Studies are underway to determine the efficacy of cannabis in treating PTSD"


Until those PEER REVIEWED studies are published and show medical efficacy of pot for PTSD, it's just more anecdotal bullshit from perpetually prevaricating pot pimps.

JRTifferRyan
JRTifferRyan

@DonkeyHotay  Do you have friends or relatives with PTSD? If not, you have no fucking idea what you're talking about.  Cite whatsoever studies, surveys, or statistics you'd like -- you are talking out of your ass.  

RobertChase
RobertChase topcommenter

@DonkeyHotay  Your reading comprehension is deficient; I indicated that allowing physicians to recommend the use of cannabis would "especially" benefit veterans, and that is true -- I explicitly stated that the bill would benefit "Coloradans".  It is too bad that you are such a reactionary.  Your replies are almost uniformly non-responsive -- instead of constantly insinuating falsehoods, take cognizance of the fact that WW failed to inform readers how they might attend or testify at this hearing, and that I did so inform them.

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@RobertChase


Ketamine, LSD, Psilocybin and MDMA have far more promise and efficacy than marijuana.


Pot is for punks.


DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@RobertChase "without foundation or reference to science."


The entire "medical" marijuana propaganda platform.


.

RobertChase
RobertChase topcommenter

@DonkeyHotay -- rhetoric from the drug treatment industry, without foundation or reference to science.

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@RobertChase ... self-stoning with weed isn't "therapy" anymore than an alcoholic getting drunk to ease his pain is "therapy".



RobertChase
RobertChase topcommenter

@DonkeyHotay  Your contempt for the explicit representations of those suffering from PTSD who are being helped by therapy with cannabis on view in these comments is noted.

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@RobertChase



"Westword, I am done with your worthless blog" Watch -- I am giving it up.  

I am sick of being manipulated by faceless, remote, corporate incompetents"

--  Robert Chase 4/16/2014

RobertChase
RobertChase topcommenter

@DonkeyHotay  See -- you don't seem to be able to make a reply without insinuating something false.  You consistently seek to detract from even purely informational posts, such as mine above.

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@RobertChase  "take cognizance of the fact that WW failed to inform readers"


ROTFLMAO !! ... welcome to reality, Robert Van Winkle.



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