PTSD Sufferers Qualify for Medical Marijuana 
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PTSD Sufferers Qualify for Medical Marijuana 
Posted by CN Staff on October 14, 2013 at 18:19:06 PT
By Alanna Durkin, Associated Press
Source: Associated Press
Augusta -- A new state law allowing veterans and others suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder to be prescribed medical marijuana will help them live a normal life, advocates and veterans say. Under the law that went into effect Wednesday, PTSD joins cancer, glaucoma, hepatitis C and others on the list of conditions patients must have to qualify for medical marijuana use in Maine.
Hundreds of Maine veterans already use marijuana to treat PTSD, but they weren’t previously able to get it from their doctors, said Paul McCarrier, legislative liaison for the Medical Marijuana Caregivers of Maine. “This unties the hands of doctors to allow them to treat their patients,” he said. Retired Marine Corps Sgt. Ryan Begin is one of those veterans already using the drug. Begin lost 4 inches of his right arm, including his elbow, from an IED explosion during his second tour in Iraq in 2004. He started using medical marijuana to deal with the pain, but it has also helped manage his PTSD, which caused flashbacks and nightmares, he said. “It balances me,” the 33-year-old Belfast resident said. “Instead of being on a roller coaster ... you’re more even keeled. ... You don’t get too far up, and you don’t get too far down.” Maine voters legalized marijuana for medical purposes in 1999 and approved a law creating a statewide network of marijuana dispensaries 10 years later. Twenty states and the District of Columbia have legalized medical marijuana use, but only six other states allow its use for PTSD, according to the Marijuana Policy Project, a D.C.-based advocacy group. Gordon Smith, executive vice president of the Maine Medical Association, said the question of medical marijuana use for PTSD treatment is contentious among the medical community. “We heard both from doctors who felt that particularly people coming back from Afghanistan might be assisted (by it), and we heard from doctors who thought there was not a sound evidentiary basis for it,” Smith said.Because the drug is still illegal under federal law, there is a lack of federally funded studies on medical marijuana. That has been a challenge to understanding its impact on various conditions, Smith said.The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs changed its policy on medical marijuana in 2011 to ensure veterans using medical marijuana in states where it’s legal aren’t punished, said Michael Krawitz, director of the Virginia-based group Veterans for Cannabis Access. But VA doctors still can’t recommend medical marijuana for treatment or provide documentation to get it. McCarrier said he suspects the new law will bring many new patients into Maine’s medical marijuana program, which had more than 1,450 patients registered with the state in 2012. Efforts to expand the program to include more qualifying conditions will likely continue in Maine. The first draft of the proposed law would have allowed doctors to prescribe marijuana for any condition they deemed necessary. But the Maine Medical Association opposed that, saying that expanding the program to virtually every condition could essentially legalize recreational marijuana use. Begin said the new law will be a huge step forward for veterans struggling with PTSD. That’s because marijuana doesn’t cause the negative side effects that prescription medication can, like feelings of weakness or depression, but instead allows patients to stay medicated while remaining social and productive, he said. “Just because they have to take medication, they shouldn’t be put on the sidelines of life,” he said. Source: Associated Press (Wire) Author: Alanna Durkin, Associated Press Published:  October 12, 2013Copyright: 2013 The Associated PressCannabisNews  Medical Marijuana Archives 
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Comment #5 posted by Hope on October 16, 2013 at 10:45:12 PT
Don't worry. I got to read it. It seems to be a new ad style, where you have to answer and ad type question before they let you see the article. But I did get to read it.Too much fussing and making great mountains of little bitty molehills. Prohibitionists are so out of touch with reality.They cause people to get arrested and have their lives messed up... and then blame the banned substance for the trouble. They don't seem able to realize that it's the prohibition that is doing the fearful harm they so dread.
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Comment #4 posted by The GCW on October 15, 2013 at 15:33:06 PT
Thank You.When I clicked on the link, the article just comes up. Perhaps go to the Summit Daily News and find it there. I'm registered to use the website or something.-0-"""There’s a good reason why Buddy Sims is against the legalization of marijuana — it nearly destroyed the life of a relative.“My whole life, I’ve seen what it does to families and to kids,” Sims said.Sims, of Edwards, is one of the most vocal opponents of marijuana in the mountains. He writes letter after letter to government officials and to the newspaper, and he’s at as many public meetings about marijuana as he can fit into his schedule.He does it because he’s worried about local children.“I don’t want the kids in our county to think marijuana is medicine or that it’s OK to smoke,” Sims said. “I think there’s going to be a huge impact on families. Eventually, when Vail and Beaver Creek are known for Rocky Mountain high, there will be people who won’t bring their children here. I wouldn’t move here with my family knowing retail marijuana is rampant here.”Medical marijuana dispensaries are open in Eagle-Vail, Edwards and Eagle, but Sims is worried that local jurisdictions are going to allow retail recreational stores to open next year. He trying his hardest to stop that from happening.Sims cites scientific studies that prove marijuana damages young brains. A July report by the journal Neuropsychopharmacology, for example, says regular marijuana use during adolescence, but not adulthood, may permanently impair cognition and increase the risk for psychiatric diseases like schizophrenia."Cont.-0-In reading that article it makes Me question exactly who's education they believe myst be taught. Plenty of people still believe children must be taught cannabis is bad, evil and more dangerous than it really is.Teaching lies is not education, that's something else.
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Comment #3 posted by Hope on October 15, 2013 at 12:35:24 PT
Comment 1 The GCW
That site wants to know whether I have a degree in business before they let me see the article. That's odd.
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Comment #2 posted by Hope on October 15, 2013 at 12:32:38 PT
I just want to say something here... 
I think Colorado being the first to legalize was a straight out gift, or reward, to Stan White for putting a point before the newspaper reading people of the world. Precisely, clearly, and unrelentingly. Year after year, after year. His letters were and are published constantly, all over the place. I know from trying to use that resource, too, that there were many more letters written and sent that never saw ink.Thank you Stan White. Thank you, very much.You did a lot of good.You never gave up. You were relentless. Thank you.That's just what I think, of course, about a "Reward" for Stan. But that is what I suspect.
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Comment #1 posted by The GCW on October 15, 2013 at 04:09:46 PT
In the paper
Legal pot in Colorado creates pressing need for education
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