Colorado has long lead the way when it comes to American cannabis laws, but in this case, it seems they’re just catching up – as it appears PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) patients may be about to finally have access to the state’s medical marijuana program.
Just last week, the Colorado Senate approved a measure that would allow doctors to include medical marijuana recommendations for patients suffering from PTSD, and the bill now awaits only Governor John Hickenlooper’s signature before it becomes law.
“I’m really excited to see this option being afforded to veterans because they really need this,” former Fort Carson soldier and founder of the Veteran Farmers Association Steve DeFino told KOAA News 5.
Although the primary focus of Colorado’s PTSD debate was giving veterans the availability of cannabis medicine; last week, the discussions over this issue were largely centered on the notion that the bill might somehow give kids increased access to pot.
Compromise was eventually reached, however, and conservative opponents swayed, when an amendment was added to the bill requiring anyone under the age of 18 to get special approval from a small set of approved doctors and psychiatrists. Without that amendment, conservatives weren’t willing to let minors suffering from PTSD use the program.
While it’s true that recreational marijuana is legal in Colorado to anyone 21 or older, patient advocates argue this new bill increases access for those who need it most – those who are suffering, and use marijuana medicinally – as the taxes associated with recreational marijuana can make it’s use prohibitive for those on limited incomes.
“There’s a lot of guys that have run out of options, can’t afford recreational prices, and being able to allow medical as a qualifying condition is very huge for some people,” DeFino said.
If Governor Hickenlooper steps up and signs the bill, Colorado will join 15 other states in allowing PTSD patients access to medical marijuana.
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