People With PTSD Eligible For Medical Marijuana Card In 2015

By Alexandra Olgin
Published: Thursday, January 1, 2015 - 5:05am
Ted S. Warren/AP/NPR
Marijuana leaves.

People with post-traumatic stress disorder are eligible for a medical marijuana card in Arizona starting Jan. 1. The state health department isn’t expecting a big increase in applicants.

As of June 2014 there were more than 52,000 medical marijuana card holders in Arizona. Arizona Department of Health Director Will Humble says he doesn’t expect a surge in demand. PTSD was added to the list of conditions that qualify patients for a medical marijuana card. But Humble added it with a stipulation.

“Only if the patient is undergoing conventional treatment," Humble said. "I didn’t want patients to think that they could stop going to their counseling or stop seeing their psychiatrist because now they have marijuana because its not a treatment there’s no evidence that it’s a treatment.”

He says it’s meant to treat symptoms but won’t cure the disorder. And Taylor Martin with PARC Dispensary thinks most people with PTSD have found a way to get a card already – many who are dealing with chronic pain.

“That’s like one of the loopholes, a lot of people with PTSD have gotten their card that way but opening the door this way for the people who you know aren’t hip and with it and they can get into the non-psychoactive medicine," Martin said.

Eight other states have added PTSD to the list of conditions.

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