As is the case in most states, Arizona has a clearly laid out list of conditions that qualifies a patient for medical marijuana. These include AIDS, glaucoma, and chronic or debilitating conditions that lead to severe pain, nausea, seizures, or muscle spasms. Now, patients who suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder are seeking to add their condition to the MMJ list.
According to the Verde Independent, petitions have been filed that will ask the Health Director Will Humble to include PTSD to the conditions suitable for medical marijuana as a treatment, with a hearing scheduled for later this month and a likely ruling coming in August.
And, PTSD sufferers are not alone in wanting inclusion. Separate petitions have also been filed for migrane, depression, and general anxiety sufferers to also be allowed to seek medical marijuana for their ailments.
Unfortunately, Humble notes that these petitions may face a tough fight. While there are plenty of first-hand accounts from potential medical marijuana patients, all of these conditions lack heavily in hard science that would suggest that weed would help with their conditions. And, while the personal accounts will be considered, actual medical studies are considered the primary factor for inclusion as a medical marijuana condition.
Humble also notes that the great fear is that there might be reason to suspect that medical marijuana could do harm for people with these conditions. While anecdotal evidence of how marijuana helped an individual deal with PTSD can be compelling, the lack of hard science to sway in either direction could cause Humble throw out the petitions. Humble fears patients may seek marijuana as the “first and a proven strategy” and that they might “bypass more contemporary and proven treatments.”
It must be noted that one of the conditions filing a petition may be unnecessary. As the law is currently written, the “severe pain” condition is interpreted broadly, and could easily include migraines. 88% of the current medical marijuana applications in Arizona cite “severe or chronic pain” as among the conditions qualifying them for medical marijuana.
Should Arizona expand their list of medical marijuana conditions to include these additional ailments?