For residents of Minnesota suffering from post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), there is now a beacon of hope: PTSD patients can now buy medical marijuana in Minnesota, as first reported by the Associated Press.
Despite containing some wonderful alliteration, the fact that patients can now buy medical marijuana in Minnesota means that those suffering from the disorder—especially veterans—have access to an alternative treatment course that can be used to alleviate the negative side effects of the medication they currently take, or as a medical treatment all its own.
At Last, PTSD Patients Can Now Buy Medical Marijuana in Minnesota
For many in Minnesota, the wait has been long—but only due to the thorough research that led to the expansion being passed and implemented.
“This decision was made after careful deliberation of available evidence, consultation with experts in the field and public input,” said State Health Commissioner Dr. Ed Ehlinger in a statement to the press.
Ehrlinger, whose wariness towards the uses of medicinal cannabis was evident in his statement, nonetheless concluded that the arguments for its possible beneficial uses for treating PTSD were undeniable, especially regarding “intractable pain”—i.e., chronic pain—and enervating anxiety that the disease can cause.
“While the process of reviewing these potential additions was difficult due to the relative lack of published scientific evidence, PTSD presented the strongest case for potential benefits,” he continued .”PTSD also has few effective treatment alternatives available for some patients with the condition.”
While PTSD was added to the state’s medicinal cannabis program back in late 2016, this month marks the first time that patients suffering from the condition will be able to purchase it since it was legalized for medical use in 2015.
AS of now, only 105 patients diagnosed with PTSD are currently registered to receive medical marijuana for treatment. Despite this low number, officials expect more to apply within the upcoming months.
While medicinal cannabis is now technically accessible to residents of the state, it isn’t necessarily easy for many veterans to obtain. Many doctors associated with the Veterans Affairs program cannot license patients due to the federal prohibition of the drug. In light of this, Minnesotans will only be able to obtain said licenses from physicians that are not affiliated with the VA, an organization which provides benefits for the majority of American vets.