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Maine: Medical Marijuana Program Expanded To Include Patients With PTSD, Other Debilitating Disorders

  • by Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director June 27, 2013

    Patients diagnosed with post-traumatic stress, Crohn’s disease, and other debilitating disorders will now be eligible for cannabis therapy, under legislation approved yesterday absent the Governor’s signature.

    The new law expands the list of qualifying conditions for which a Maine physician may legally recommend cannabis to include “post-traumatic stress disorder,” “inflammatory bowel disease” (such as Crohn’s and/or ulcerative colitis), and “dyskinetic and spastic movement disorders and other diseases causing severe and persistent muscle spasms” (such as Parkinson’s disease and/or Huntington’s disease). It is the second time that Maine legislators have acted to expand the pool of patients who may have access to medicinal cannabis.

    Under state law, qualified patients in Maine may either cultivate their own cannabis or obtain it from one of eight state-licensed dispensaries.

    Four states — Connecticut, Delaware, New Mexico, and Oregon — specifically allow for the use of cannabis to treat symptoms of post-traumatic stress. Clinical trial data published in the May issue of the journal Molecular Psychiatry theorized that cannabinoid-based therapies would likely comprise the “next generation of evidence-based treatments for PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder).”

    Survey data published in 2011 in the European Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology reports the use of cannabis therapy is common among patients with inflammatory bowel disorders. Most recently, researchers at the Meir Medical Center, Department of Gastroenterology and Hepatology in Israel reported that inhaling cannabis reduces symptoms of Crohn’s disease compared to placebo in patients non-responsive to traditional therapies. Investigators concluded, “Our data show that 8-weeks treatment with THC-rich cannabis, but not placebo, was associated with a significant decrease of 100 points in CDAI (Crohn’s Disease and activity index) scores.” (The CDIA is a research tool used to quantify the symptoms of Crohn’s disease patients.) Five of the eleven patients in the study group also reported achieving disease remission (defined as a reduction in patient CDAI score by more than 150 points).

    16 Responses to “Maine: Medical Marijuana Program Expanded To Include Patients With PTSD, Other Debilitating Disorders”

    1. Zack says:

      First of all, “go Maine!”. Second to the one with the crazy long rant, you’re on the wrong message board, and to the poster named “someone” PTSD is a real condition that can take a huge toll on a PERSON’s life, and is not only suffered by Vets but also by those who were in bad crashes, raped, life threatening events… and so on.

    2. Brad says:

      PTSD is a hidden wound, the use of marijuana since my return from Iraq it is the only thing that can keep things at bay. I refuse the pain pills from VA, I don’t want to be one of the pill zombies walking around, so for pain a little marijuana couple times day as you would pain pills.

    3. Aliya says:

      Cannabis is the only thing that has saved me from PTSD. My beloved deceased father, when I was 17, when he smelled it, said this is the first time in a long time I have seen you smile. I am now 50. He died in front of me from a heart-attack at 18, but this was not the original trauma, which is/was a psychopathic mother. I am a professional counselor who specializes in treating PTSD, for child abuse survivors. I gave cannabis up for 25 years due to fear. There is no more fear. Let them arrest me, for saving myself and my family as I smile a lot.

    4. Happy Maine PTSD Sufferer says:

      WOW, I am so happy to hear this! Thank God for Norml, I stay totally isolated because of PTSD, which has caused anxiety disorder and depression, making it next to impossible to leave the house. I don’t hear much about what is going on, they certainly never showed it on the news! Finally PTSD is added, now to find a Dr to prescribe as I receive all medical services through the VA. Because it is still illegal on the Federal level the VA can not prescribe, but they sure love to test for it! I joined the Army during Vietnam and I was sexually assaulted so I am classified as MST (military sexual trauma). Over 40 years later I am still in therapy weekly, apparently therapy is not a successful treatment for PTSD. I never could understand why they thought smoking would make it worse, and all the xanax and valium would help. Both are totally useless because my tolerance level to both renders them useless from years of this treatment. Smoking a bowl is not only more effective, but much healthier and safer.

    5. George B says:

      I hope when medical marijuana is recognized by the VA as a treatable medication for several qualified veteran medical problems.
      As a disabled vet, we should be allowed to be prescribed and issued medical marijuana from the VA hospital, just like blood pressure medication. Medical marijuana is one of the most expensive medications on the market.
      The VA promised to take care of my healthcare for the rest of my life if I went to Vietnam or just joined. NOW FOR FILL YOUR WRITTEN OBLIGATION. Either prescribe it to us (when appropriate) or allow veterans to grow their own medication.
      Come on politicians, this costs more than most pain medications. Allow us a card to grow our own medical marijuana, put limits on it, allow it or give it to us. You promised.

    6. Razor says:

      Very well put Julian–the truth is the truth!!
      Careful what I say??? PTSD Vietnam Vet.

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