Top Five Reasons Why PTSD Should be a Qualifying Ailment in Arizona for Medical Marijuana
Last week, the state Department of Health Services rejected the chance to add PTSD to the list of qualifying ailments under the Arizona Medical Marijuana Act.
The decision by DHS director Will Humble to prevent people with PTSD from using marijuana legally follows numerous petitions by the public and testimony during a hearing. Humble also rejected petitions to have anxiety, migraine headaches and depression added as qualifying ailments.
But it's PTSD that has received the most attention -- possibly because many war veterans who came home with the disorder think they deserve not to be jailed for smoking a doob that might help quell their nightmares.
In any case, we've come up with five good reasons why Humble should have decided the other way, (even though doing that would have ticked off his anti-pot boss, Governor Jan Brewer, who's probably already steaming mad on the issue of medical marijuana since a judge ordered her to stop delaying the program.)
One more piece of background info before we begin: Humble made his decision after commissioning a study on the issues that was conducted by the University of Arizona's College of Public Health. The University concluded that they "could not find any research that directly addressed the key questions of the benefits and harms of marijuana use for the treatment of PTSD." Following that review of studies, the DHS' Medical Advisory Committee recommended against adding the other ailments.
Why do we think we know better than the DHS' esteemed advisory committee and U of A researchers? To begin with:
1. Common sense. PTSD causes sleeplessness, anxiety, constant alertness, anger and the reliving of bad memories. Pot tends to make people sleepy, mellow, less alert and forgetful. True, a potent strain of sativa can actually cause anxiety in some people, but only for a short while. Have you ever heard of someone, PTSD patient or not, taking a few puffs of weed and doing something crazy enough to make the nightly news? Bath salts and meth, sure. But pot? Not gonna happen.
2. Consider the source: The University of Arizona, which concluded there wasn't enough proof to say pot might help PTSD patients, runs the Center for Integrative Medicine. The Center promotes herbal remedies, ayurvedic medicine, acupuncture and, presumably, whatever Dr. Andrew Weil's store is selling this week. And why aren't there more quality studies about PTSD and marijuana, anyway? The federal government doesn't typically allow them.