Michiganders suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder can now get a card to use medical marijuana.
The state’s director of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs, Steve Arwood, gave final approval to add PTSD to the state’s medical marijuana program about a week after it was recommended by a state review panel.
“I hope they can find some peace to this,” said David Brogren, who sits on that panel. “I hope they can use medical marijuana to sleep or to have the bad dreams go away, or not be repeated as much. I hope it’ll mask some of the pain they have that will keep them safe and their families safe.”
In his letter approving the change, Arwood urges veterans to talk to a veterans’ affairs officer to make sure they will not put their federal benefits at risk by becoming a medical marijuana patient.
This is the first mental health condition the state has approved for medical marijuana. In his letter, Arwood lists that among a number of concerns about the change.
“Granting this approval steps Michigan away from the use of marijuana for disease of the body or chronic pain symptoms of a physical nature,” he writes.
Arwood goes on to indicate his unease about the current process of adding conditions to the state’s medical marijuana program.
“It remains my belief that expansion of the statute should be in the hands of the Legislature, not the director of the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs,” he says. “Given that the Legislature is currently discussing several marijuana related topics, further legalization efforts belong with our elected representatives.”
Last week, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services approved a study on the effects of medical marijuana on PTSD patients. According to the Associated Press, that study still needs to be approved by the federal Drug Enforcement Administration before it can move forward.