Petitioner Urges Iowa Cannabidiol Board to Add PTSD to Medical Marijuana Qualifying Conditions

November 4, 2019 08:00:54

For years, the residents of Iowa have lamented over the exclusion of PTSD from the state’s heavily restricted medical cannabis program. Medical cannabis is a potent natural medicine that can help manage a host of medical conditions. Luckily for people with PTSD, medical marijuana has been found to be effective at reducing the symptoms of the condition. Unluckily for the people suffering from this condition, the state’s medical cannabis program has, for years, failed to include it in its list of eligible conditions.

Iowans were disappointed back in 2014 when state lawmakers created its medical cannabidiol program but didn’t include PTSD. The condition was again excluded from the program when it was expanded in 2017, and last year, the Medical Cannabidiol Board rejected a petition to add PTSD to the list of approved conditions.

Interested parties have another chance to sway the decision. The Cannabidiol Board will, on Monday, review another petition by the residents of Iowa, urging the state to allow people living with PTSD to use medical cannabis as a treatment. Rebbeca Lucas of MedPharm wrote in the petition that “Americans had failed military veterans who have combat-related PTSD. We get to live how we live because they fight for us,” the petition says, “however, when our service members return, we, in essence, abandon them. We potentiate a stigma that it is strange for people, not just to be OK.”

Over the years, the effects of PTSD on military and law enforcement veterans have been studied. The country loses an average of 21 service members every day to suicide. Although 28 other states, including Minnesota and Illinois, allow PTSD patients to use medical cannabis, the state of Iowa still lags behind. One issue that has held back medical cannabis in this regard is the idea that people who do not have the condition will somehow outwit the system for a marijuana fix.

A testimonial that proved the invalidity of that train of thought was sent along with the petition. The author, whose personal details were redacted, was a former Iowa police officer who was relieved of his duty back in 2010 after being diagnosed with PTSD. The officer suffered from depression and suicidal thoughts for over a decade, was unable to find employment, and avoided using medical cannabis, saying that it had been so ingrained in him that marijuana was harmful. “Heck, I even put people in prison because they had or were selling marijuana.”

Eventually, the officer tried medical cannabis, and the PTSD symptoms reduced drastically soon after. “For the first time in 10 years, I felt normal again. I feel like I have my life back!”

Industry watchers believe that personal testimonies like that of the former law enforcement office are the reason that CBD companies like Organigram Holdings Inc. (TSX: OGI) (NASDAQ: OGI) and Willow Biosciences Inc. (CSE: WLLW) keep working so that many more people can have better lives despite the health conditions that they struggle with.

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