Will Humble, Director of the Arizona Department of Health Services, said PTSD sufferers will be able to use medical marijuana beginning Jan. 1, 2015.
“Today I issued a Director’s Decision that will authorize the use of marijuana… for patients that are currently undergoing conventional treatment for a diagnosis of PTSD,” Humble wrote in a blog post. “Physician certifications would be valid only for the palliative care of PTSD symptoms (not treatment). Certifying physicians will be required to attest that they have reviewed evidence documenting that the patient is currently undergoing conventional treatment for PTSD before signing the medical marijuana certification.” Humble also cited a recent study from the Journal of Psychoactive Drugs which provides evidence that marijuana may be help to alleviate symptoms of PTSD.
Last month a judge recommended state officials allow those with PTSD to use medical marijuana, reversing a past decision by Humble. In the past, Humble had said there was insufficient research on marijuana’s effects on PTSD.
The new PTSD medical marijuana law won’t take effect until January 1, in order to give doctors, dispensaries and state health officials time to develop policies, procedures and educational materials for the use of marijuana for PTSD, as required by the rules.