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Did Big Pharma Influence Colorado’s Decision to Reject Medical Marijuana for PTSD?

Maureen Meehan

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Last week the Colorado Board of Health once again rejected the proposal to add post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) to the list of conditions for which medical marijuana can be prescribed—in contrast to Washington State where the herb is expected to be approved for PTSD treatment on Friday. 

The Colorado board cited a lack of sufficient scientific evidence proving pot is effective for PTSD, despite experts’ evidence to the contrary.

According to the Olympian, in 2013, the American Journal of Public Health reported that suicides among men ages 20-39 were reduced by an average of 10.8 percent in states that have legalized medical marijuana compared to states that do not. In addition, a 2014 study by New Mexico psychiatrist Dr. George Greer concluded that marijuana provided relief for PTSD symptoms in 75 percent of patients in a controlled study.

Arizona physician, Dr. Sue Sisley, the leading pot and PTSD researcher, has her suspicions about what went on behind the scenes in Colorado. More than 50 speakers gave testimony, only two in opposition to the proposal—and yet it did not pass.

“Several members who voted ‘no’ cited the fact that APA and other organized medicine groups oppose this initiative,”Sisely said, as reported by Westword. “I am concerned that these organized medicine groups are heavily influenced by Big Pharma. Obviously, Pharma has a vested interest in suppressing these initiatives because they have the potential to harm their ‘business model.’”

“It's surprising how many thousands of veterans are using it on the black market and just can't come out of the shadows,” she told the Olympian. “I feel we have a duty to these veterans to study this in a vigorous way.”

Meanwhile, two-tour Iraq vet, Andrew Collins, 30, told the Olympian that he has stopped using a cocktail of 17 prescription drugs because medical marijuana has helped him cope with the psychological trauma he carries around—trauma that at times has filled his head with aggression and suicidal thoughts.

“I smoke a joint and the thoughts are gone,” Collins said.

(Photo Courtesy of Everyday Health)

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