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Matthew Perrone, of the Associated Press reports, Federal Government Signs Off On Study Using Marijuana To Treat Veterans' PTSD

The proposal from the University of Arizona was long ago cleared by the Food and Drug Administration, but researchers had been unable to purchase marijuana from the National Institute on Drug Abuse. The agency's Mississippi research farm is the only federally-sanctioned source of the drug.

"MAPS has been working for over 22 years to start marijuana drug development research, and this is the first time we've been granted permission to purchase marijuana from NIDA," the Boston-based group said in a statement. The federal government has never before approved medical research involving smoked or vaporized marijuana, according to MAPS.

Marijuana is listed as a Schedule I substance under federal law which means there are no recognized medical applications which makes it nearly impossible for researchers to gain access for studies. Although, the Department of Human Services has given its approval, the DEA still needs to sign off on this which I expect is not going to be as easy.

Even the AMA has called for marijuana to be reclassified, as physicians in states that have legalized medical marijuana can not write prescriptions for it because of federal law.

Many have called for President Obama to use his executive powers to recognize the medical community's acceptance of marijuana as a valid treatment of numerous medical conditions.

Six states already accept a diagnoses of PTSD as sufficient grounds to qualify for a medical marijuana access card.

The Veterans Administration estimates between 11 and 20 percent of soldiers who served in the recent Iraq and Afghanistan wars have PTSD, which can cause anxiety, flashbacks, depression and sleep deprivation. About 7.7 million American adults are estimated to have the disorder.

Physicians have long speculated that marijuana could be used to calm parts of the brain linked to overstimulation and anxiety, though little formal research has been conducted.

Dr. Sanjay Gupta called for the legalization of medical marijuana at the federal level last week, due to what he learned investigating the anguish parents of children with epilepsy and other seizure disorders have to go through to gain access to "Charlotte's Web" as special strain which contains very low levels of THC, but high levels of certain other substances shown to be highly effective for controlling seizures.  

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From USA TODAY we learn a bit more about this story in Medical marijuana research for PTSD clears major hurdle.

The study participants will receive marijuana with five varying amounts of the active ingredient, THC — anywhere from the placebo of no THC to 12% THC. The study will also examine the differences between smoking the drug versus vaporizing it.

Sisley's study could open the way to the development of a prescription drug based on the whole marijuana plant, said Brad Burge, spokesman for Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies, which is funding the study. ...

With no federal medical marijuana law, Krawitz said, "State laws are the only way to protect veterans' access to cannabis."

Perhaps, if this study is successful it will reduce some of the stigma many veterans feel is associated with confessing their symptoms of PTSD, and more will seek treatment. In fact, I'm willing to go on record, right now, to predict that we will see a significant increase in the number of people who are now willing to come forward and confess their symptoms of PTSD, now that they such treatment is available.

(Humor alert! The next two paragraphs may not qualify as pure journalism, in the minds of some readers.)  

Actually, now that I think about it, I've been feeling quite a lot stress lately. In fact, this whole last couple weeks has been highly traumatic the number of weekly recs has plunged as I'm having to work on other projects, and it's giving me highly stressful flashbacks of all my previous life failures. I better go see my doctor right away.  Our program in Massachusetts will be set up in a few months.

I also predict we are going to see a surge in a new kind of diagnosis in the DSM-VI, which will be a sub-variation of Generalized Anxiety Disorder, called Fear of Marijuana Exclusion Anxiety Disorder, or MEAD, the fear that nearly everyone else, but you will be able to qualify for a medical marijuana card. Fortunately, science will show, this condition will be immediately cured by easy access to legal medical marijuana.  

Today's poll will ask you which medical conditions might qualify you for medical marijuana, or if you support or oppose it.

10:36 AM PT: I know the proper plural of veterans' in the title, however, DKOS will not allow me to change the title saying I'm not authorized to change the poll. I'm not trying to change the poll. This is a glitch. Sorry. If any admins, or tech people know how to fix this please let me know.

10:44 AM PT: Fixed. I had to completely log out of my browser and reload DKos. Dang, I may have to change my vote in the poll, If I had been under he influence of medical marijuana for my compulsive perfectionism anxiety disorder, I would have just made a joke based on "Bones" McCoy, snapping back to Spock, or Kirk, "Damn it, Jim, I'm a doctor, not an engineer!"

Except in this case, I'd have just left the apostrophe error in the title and if anyone complained I would have said, "Damn it MB, I'm a citizen blogging, not a frigging English major!"

Or, even better, "I didn't expect The Spanish Inquisition.

But, notice this whole melodrama happens in my mind, because I caught this error on my own, the  very  moment after I did the poll. Ha!

10:58 AM PT: Corrected Seven to Six states that recognize PTSD as a qualifying diagnosis for obtaining a marijuana access card for their legalized state marijuana programs. Sorry, I was writing that from memory.

Originally posted to And Now for Something Completely Different on Wed Mar 19, 2014 at 10:12 AM PDT.

Also republished by DKos Military Veterans, Military Community Members of Daily Kos, and DKos Cannabis Law and Drug War Reform.


What do you think of medical marijuana?

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