Judge Thomas Shedden recently issued a ruling saying that “a preponderance of evidence shows medical marijuana provides palliative benefit to those suffering from PTSD [post-traumatic stress disorder] .”
This ruling will now get passed on to Will Humble, Director of the Arizona Department of Health Services. Humble has until July 9th, 2014 to accept or appeal Judge Shedden’s ruling.
Jessica Gelay, Policy Coordinator for the Drug Policy Alliance said that “Veterans and all people who have suffered from serious trauma and violence deserve the freedom to choose the safest treatment for their debilitating conditions. When our veterans come home they deserve access to the medicine that works for them.”
Arizona has over 530,000 veterans, ranking it thirteenth among states with the largest population of veterans. The judicial ruling puts Arizona on its way to becoming the twelfth state to make PTSD a qualifying condition for medical marijuana.
Recent evidence from studies in Israel show that marijuana is effective for combat veterans experiencing symptoms of PTSD.
Dr. Sue Sisley of the University of Arizona, is the principal investigator in a proposed study that is looking at the effects of medical marijuana on combat veterans suffering from PTSD. “Twenty-two veterans a day are killing themselves,” said Dr. Sue Sisley, “Many of these veterans are not benefiting from conventional medicines, and some find their syndrome is worsened by standard medications and the practice of poly-pharmacy.”
Dr. Sisley’s study was recently approved by the US Department of Health and Human Services after a three year delay.