Marijuana

Medical marijuana nixed for Tourette's in CO: "The system has failed," Brian Vicente says

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"There's a plethora of data that exists showing that medical marijuana helps people suffering from Tourette's -- anything from case studies to double-blind placebo clinical trials that show individuals with Tourette's can relieve the symptoms of that condition using medical marijuana," says Vicente, pointing doubters to this Norml.org piece.

"But for the past ten years, the health department and now the board of health have ignored the standard that they're supposed to implement regarding whether to add new conditions -- which comes straight out of our state constitution. It says we can add new conditions if an individual 'might' benefit from the use of medical marijuana. 'Might' is the actual language."

There's a dearth of U.S. inquiries about marijuana because the drug is considered a Schedule 1 narcotic -- meaning it has no accepted medical use. With that in mind, Vicente believes the board of health should look at a broader range of information.

"The federal government is not allowing researchers to study marijuana in relation to people's illnesses, so it's very difficult to get human studies," he points out. "Some exist from abroad -- from Germany, from Spain, and Israel has done a lot about post-traumatic-stress disorder and marijuana. But while we're in this void of studies in this country, I think health department officials need to consider everything that's out there, including animal studies, case studies and subjective experiences from patients."

Instead, he believes "the board of health isn't doing their homework,and is allowing political prejudice to influence their decisions about what's best for sick people in Colorado."

Will that situation improve once Calonge has left his current post? Or are the board of health's members locked into the same mentality?

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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