There are a lot of PTSD sufferers–and not just veterans–out there. The good news is that access to medical marijuana to treat it is spreading.
Photo Credit: Ivano Rodriguez
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is not rare. According to the Department of Veterans Affairs, about eight million adults suffer from it in any given year, including tens of thousands of Afghanistan and Iraq veterans. Somewhere between 11% and 20% of those vets will suffer from it each year.
PTSD isn’t limited to vets, though—trauma comes in many forms—and 7% to 8% of the population will suffer from it at some point in their lives. That figure rises to 10% for women.
Treating PTSD can be tricky, but numerous anecdotal reports and testimonies suggest medical marijuana can be of help. Even the stodgy VA, which tends to see marijuana use among PTSD patients as “cannabis use disorder,” and notes that there have been no randomized, controlled clinical trials on the efficacy of marijuana in treating PTSD, concedes that some studies have shown positive results.
The good news for PTSD sufferers is that there are an awful lot of places in the country that have medical marijuana laws authorizing its use for PTSD. More than two dozen states, US territories, and the nation’s capital allow its use, and acceptance seems to be accelerating, with seven states– Arkansas, Florida, North Dakota, Ohio, Illinois, New Jersey and Rhode Island—joining the list in the past year.
Colorado could be next. Legislation to PTSD to the state’s list of qualifying conditions has passed the state Senate and is moving through the House. It could be on the governor’s desk by the time you read these words.
Colorado is a marijuana legal state already, so PTSD patients don’t have to wait for the law to change there to be able to obtain it. But making PTSD a qualifying condition would mean that patients would then be eligible for an exemption from the state’s 10% tax on recreational marijuana, paying only state and local sales taxes.
Here are the 23 states, two territories, and one city that either list PTSD as a qualifying condition for medical marijuana or otherwise allow doctors to recommend it:
- New Jersey
- New Mexico
- North Dakota
- Puerto Rico
- Rhode Island
- Washington, D.C.