Colorado is among the states that have a medical cannabis legalization bill in place. However, the conditions that allow for medical marijuana (MMJ) have never been updated in the state, since the inception of the bill that allows for cannabis use in certain medical conditions. All this changed when Governor John Hickenlooper finally approved the new bill on June 5, 2017 that allows PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) patients to take advantage of MMJ.
Colorado has been quite slow in this regard, and the Governor already faced a lot of pressure from military veterans and patient advocate groups. They are the ones, who have worked hard to finally reach a point, where Bill SB 17 has been signed by Gov. Hickenlooper.
This bill will allow people in Colorado to apply for cannabis treatment, if they are suffering from PTSD. They can now also discuss complex treatment options with their doctors that also include medical marijuana. Colorado was the only remaining state to deny the addition of PTSD on the list of qualifying conditions for gaining access to medical cannabis. All other legalized states, including Puerto Rico, Guam and Washington, DC already consider PTSD as the qualifying condition for prescription cannabis.
Many supporters have been pushing for the inclusion of PTSD in the MMJ bill of Colorado. However, there was a huge setback in July 2015, when the Board of Health in the state denied a petition for PTSD qualification by a vote of 6-2. The board received a lot of boos for turning down the appeal, but suggested that there was lack of scientific evidence for the change.
Christopher Stanley was the panelist and he suggested that although the board understood the seriousness of the cases and the human appeal of allowing for an experience, there was simply no evidence to allow the board in taking a decision based on their jurisdiction.
However, this rejection was not the final nail in the coffin, as the proponents filed a lawsuit against the state and also worked towards bringing a relevant bill to the Capitol. The case is still going on in a state appellate court, while the proposed bill quickly obtained the support of several state lawmakers. The State Legislature approved the bill in April, and it sat of the desk of the Governor for the final approval.
The current bill will allow individuals to participate in the state MMJ program, if they are suffering from PTSD. The bill also lets them get access to medical cannabis products, rather than turning towards the commonly available marijuana, which is not so effective. Patients can also discuss other treatment options with their physicians by using MMJ as part of their treatment plan.
Hoban Law Group has been responsible for taking care of the related pro bono lawsuit on behalf of patients requiring MMJ. The group approved of the governor’s decision to finally turn the bill into a state law. It suggested that finally, justice will be served to the patients.
The Hoban Law Group especially shared their gratitude for Representative Singer and Senator Aguilar for supporting this drive in the State Legislature.
Marijuana stays in the news, and Alice is always ready to keep us updated. A world traveler and lover of freedom, Alice knows what is going on, no matter where she roams. She specializes in marijuana legalization stories across the globe, with up to date... [read more]