Colorado lawmakers approve pot for PTSD, with new limits

Posted April 27, 2017

Although adults 21 or older can purchase and possess up to an ounce of marijuana for recreational use in Colorado, allowing those suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder access to the state's medical marijuana program is beneficial for several reasons, including significantly lower taxes on medical marijuana versus recreational marijuana.

A new Columbia University study suggests medical marijuana laws contribute to greater recreational use and dependence on the drug.

In states that have passed MMLs, doctors may prescribe the drug to help treat a number of conditions, including pain, chemotherapy-related nausea, seizure disorders, and poor appetite and weight loss due to chronic illness.

If the legislation becomes law, NY would join Minnesota, New Jersey, Michigan, California, Illinois, Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Massachusetts, New Mexico, Arizona, Washington, Rhode Island and OR as states that allow those with PTSD OR acute stress disorder to legally use medical cannabis.

That's the basic conclusion of a study published today that has reignited the debate over whether marijuana laws encourage illegal use of cannabis.

To investigate, the authors of the new study consulted data from three studies: the 1991-1992 National Longitudinal Alcohol Epidemiologic Survey, the 2001-2002 National Epidemiologic Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions and the 2012-2013 National Epidemiologic Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions-III.

Pacula added that people should be cautious in interpreting the new study, because it uses national survey data to evaluate state-level trends.

"While research continues to gather evidence to that end, clinicians are faced with the reality reinforced by the findings from Hasin et al. that cannabis use is increasing among adults living in states that have legalized medical marijuana", they wrote.

Twenty-nine states now have medical marijuana laws, and eight states - Alaska, California, Colorado, Maine, Massachusetts, Nevada, Oregon, and Washington - have legalized both medical and recreational cannabis use. Cannabis use disorder increased 1 percentage point.

The researchers defined illegal use as any use of marijuana that didn't conform with the laws within the respondents' state.

Colorado may be expected to have record-breaking marijuana sales and maintain its position as the highest grossing marijuana state in 2017, but that could change once California gets its recreational market up and running.

Much attention has been paid to the effect on youth, and studies have not documented more teen use because of marijuana legalization.

During January and February, Colorado racked up $235 million in total marijuana sales, a 30 percent spike compared to the state's recreational and medical pot sales during the same time in 2016, according to a report by Cannabis Benchmarks, a company that tracks marijuana sales and prices, released by Marijuana Business Daily Monday.

Study limitations included self-reporting and less underreporting as cannabis became more socially acceptable, which could have influenced the observed increase.

He says the increase in subsequent years may be from factors other than marijuana legalization laws. "There is no morality in keeping medicine from sick and dying patients who can benefit from medical cannabis".

Compton compared these laws to laws that regulate alcohol in the states.

To date, 29 states in the US and the District of Columbia have legalized marijuana for medical use, and more are expected to follow.

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