Medical marijuana fight: Health department lobbies against MMJ use in treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder

Update, 4:00 p.m.: Representative Sal Pace's amendment relating to medical marijuana and post-traumatic stress disorder has been defeated, and the Marijuana Policy Project's Steve Fox isn't happy about it. Look for the new information after the original item below:

At today's judiciary committee hearing about HB 1284, a bill that aims to regulate the medical marijuana industry, Representative Sal Pace will offer an amendment to add post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) to the list of ailments that can be treated by MMJ.

Actively lobbying against his proposal? The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, which has been providing legislators with a fact sheet, on view below. Among the document's arguments: "There is no evidence of efficacy of marijuana for treatment of PTSD in the medical literature. In fact, the published literature suggests that such use leads to addiction and abuse of other substances."

This stand frustrates Steve Fox, director of state campaigns for the Washington, D.C.-based Marijuana Policy Project, who not only refutes this statement but points out that New Mexico has approved medical marijuana for PTSD treatment.

KEEP WESTWORD FREE... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
Contact: Michael Roberts