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. Marx lennin p olvido says:

      Wishing to be your hand here in the philippines

    2. xDOWNSOUTHx says:

      Great new for fellow PTSD patients! Still illegal here but it’s the only thing that helps me. We must stay strong because PTSD doesn’t take days off!

    3. Young Smoker says:

      Something that I don’t understand is that the people in the military signed up for it knowing that they would possibly have to shoot at another human being to retain a job when the economy is in the shitter.. Maybe they realized what they are doing is wrong and that’s why the suicide in the military is through the roof..I like the band-aid effect cannabis gives for stressful events but instead of a band-aid why can’t we go to the root of the problem..Money.. Money has caused all of these problems.. The first tax in this country was on alcohol to pay for the Annexation away from Great Britain.. After the country paid off the war why didn’t the tax go away? Greed.. Pure and simple.. People were used to spending the newly found taxes and after generations we have what we have today, laws that take volumes and volumes of space that just further distort the American dream. Too many rules, for a “free country”. We are not free, we hold the burden for what the government wants to spend to promote Capitalism/Imperialism.. A few win while the rest get what they can.. Sound familiar? The people making the the money are the ones who invested in the military, the budget has not gone down even after we left Iraq and Afghanistan..Who do they plan on picking a fight with now? Syria? Doubtful since the Russian President was pissed that he heard our CIA type agencies were funneling weapons to people that this administration agrees with.. Weird since Obama’s administration does not like firearms and have been trying to take ours away.. Kinda hypocritical.. I do not know how we as the people of this country gave up the power we fought so hard for.. The people die for nothing? The Vatican still has massive influence on our policies, 80% of Americans are Christians which includes Catholics.. Which means that they are more likely to agree with someone with like morals that they too were indoctrinated with.. This world is truly the butterfly effect.. What happens when the oil is gone and we are 100 years down the road from then.. How do you think the kids in the school would feel when they learn how wasteful we are as a race? We need to set up a better future.. Personally I have yet to find a decent job that doesn’t test for cannabis, my life is put on hold.. Everytime I turn around another insurance companies policy is that you can’t smoke period.. Have something to do with Pharma? If the insurance company has stocks in Pharma then they damn sure wouldn’t cut their our wrists over it, and they would blame it on saving us from ourselves to get away with it. See how that works? I need change soon otherwise I will be homeless.. American dream right?

    4. JJK says:

      Way to go Maine! Take note people of New Hampshire …we PTSD sufferers now have new place to live.

    5. Hugh Yonn says:

      I first tried marijuana when I was 21 years old. Now, 45 years later, I still smoke pot.

      I am 66 years old and have not taken a prescription medication in over 30
      years. Has regular cannabis use enabled this? I have no idea.

      I am active…hiking, canoeing, camping, bicycling. My last hike was 11.5
      miles…to the Confluence Overlook in Canyonlands Natl Park. Has cannabis enabled this? I don’t know.

      I do know that I am living proof that prohibitionist propaganda is a fallacy…a blatant lie.

      The worst experience I ever had with cannabis was spending 5 years in Federal Prison for a marijuana offense.

      I wrote about the escapades that led to my imprisonment. The book:

      Shoulda Robbed a Bank

      It’s available at Amazon.com. I would be honored by your review.

    6. Julian says:

      Coming from Texas with a nephew and two nieces with Chrone’s disease and military veterans with PTSD a dime a dozen, Maine now looks like some heavenly place of rationality far above the Hell on Earth created by Prick Perry and his DEA goons. At the heart of convincing the State of Texas to go marijuana medicinal, to stop taking pills, research and diagnosis by faith, is convincing the parents and family of people suffering with symptoms to let go of their brainwashed fears by educating themselves and supporting their sick loved ones.
      We don’t have to tell a teenager showing signs of Chrone’s Disease that cannabis is better than the side effects of 11 different pills Big Pharma wants to fear-factor down their throats. Most young adults figure out what’s good for them on their own, desperate to try anything to improve their daily lives. The problem is convincing the marijuana madness out of the parents, the main social network that helps support someone’s medicinal choice. How about trusting a sick person’s own body to tell them what’s good for them?
      My nephew grows weaker every day taking pills to please his mother’s fear of breaking the law. I want to give him a vaporizer to control the smell but if he gets busted with it my sister will cut me off. This is just as bad as watching my Godmother suffer through chemotherapy before she died when a little weed could have stopped her vomiting and eased her pain.
      While the Supreme Court debates affirmative action, we should apply it to victims of the Drug Wars for all the suffering it has cost us. While were at it, let’s apply asset forfeitures to rapists, murderes, and the DEA for crimes against humanity.

    7. Jman says:

      So, “dyskinetic and spastic movement disorders and other diseases causing severe and persistent muscle spasms” eh? Maybe now my doctor will finally give me a prescription for my epilepsy…

    8. somedood says:

      Ptsd pffft. I got ptsd from dealing with marijuana laws.

    9. Dave Evans says:

      Hugh, I’m not buying that book. The problem is our society is trying to repeat the crazy story in the Bible. Why has our government acted like this? Because a huge percent of our population does believe in blaming the victim–or else why do they act like the Phaorses and look for profit in jailing the innocent with nothing but an excuse–we thing it might be harmful but doesn’t expect us to prove it, we’ll just waste your life and money instead forcing you to defend yourself when no crime has even occurred. And then we’ll put a mark on your rep, so everyone can see you’re piece-of-shit for being the victim of this hate-crazy system.

    10. Hugh Yonn says:

      The big question is, “What are we going to do about it?” I cannot vote…I
      have a felony marijuana conviction.

      It’s up to those of you who can…get the idiots out of office who DO NOT
      represent the will of the majority…that’s what our country is based

      Our PROTECTED freedoms, itemized in our DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE, these
      are the ones we must stand up for…these are the ones being usurped by
      ‘our’ government…these are granted to us by our birth right…our basic
      rights as human beings…THESE are not open to debate…they are ours by the
      grace of being born into this world…they are not subject to the whim of
      another human being…

      The next time you are in Washington, DC…visit the monuments erected to our
      founding fathers…read the quotes carved in granite…these are the things
      that are ours…not the bull crap we are being told today…’our’
      government has its own agenda…and it is NOT the one purported by our
      Forefathers…those are the lads who understood what FREEDOM is all about…
      that is what we must regain…otherwise, we are nothing…