Should PTSD patients have access to medical marijuana?

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By Tami Hoey By Tami Hoey
By Tami Hoey By Tami Hoey

PHOENIX -- Should Arizonans suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder or depression have access to medical marijuana? That was the question debated Tuesday at a public hearing in Phoenix.

A sizable crowd turned out for public comment on the matter, at a meeting at the State Laboratory Auditorium.

Military veterans were just some of the people pushing for the Arizona Department of Health Services to add PTSD to Arizona's list of qualifying conditions for medical marijuana.

"You never know what those memories and experiences are going to do to you," said Stacey Theis, a medical marijuana patient. Theis has battled PTSD for years, but in Arizona, only conditions like chronic pain, cancer, and glaucoma would allow her to use medical marijuana.

"It's hard on people who have had these traumatic experiences when there's nothing on the market they give you that does anything but make you sicker," says Theis.

But ADHS Director, Will Humble, tells 3TV that public comment and petitions alone don't guarantee PTSD will be added to the list. "We want to make sure we gather all the information we can, not just from here in the U.S. We asked the U of A College of Public Health, and others, to look at international literature."

"When you take it (marijuana) for PTSD, it makes your belly feel better," says Theis. "It makes your body feel better. It makes your mind ready to accept the day better." Migraines and depression were also conditions people want to see added.

A decision on the issue likely won't be made until at least the end of this year, or possibly next year.