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Colorado passes Bill that allows medical cannabis treatments for PTSD

Monday, June 12, 2017

The Colorado General Assembly recently approved SB 17-17 to add Post-Traumatic Stress Bill to the list of approved medical conditions for the use of medical cannabis. That became Colorado law June 5th with Governor John Hickenlooper’s signature. This is the final step of what has been a long journey to justice. Military veterans and all suffering from this debilitating condition can finally have access to medical cannabis in order to effectively supplement their treatment regimen under the supervision of trusted physicians. Related Colorado Appeals and Denver District court cases were handled pro bono by Hoban Law Group on behalf of Plaintiffs Curtis Bean, Larisa Bolivar, Matthew Kahl, Stephen Otero and Zachary Phillips.

“We at Hoban Law Group extend our deep gratitude to Senator Aguilar, Representative Singer and the other members of the Colorado General Assembly for making medical marijuana available to PTSD survivors in Colorado. It has been an honor to work hand in hand with veterans and other stakeholders to shepherd this critically important bill through the legislative process,” Said Adam Foster, Lead Attorney, PTSD Case

First proposed in early 2016, SB 17-17 will do the following:

  • Allow individuals suffering from PTSD to have an honest conversation with their treating physician about how use of medical marijuana fits in as part of a comprehensive treatment plan.
  • Allow veterans with PTSD to participate in a state-authorized medical marijuana program, as required by the Veterans Administration.
  • Allow PTSD sufferers, many whom live on military disability benefits and other fixed sources of income, to pay substantially less for medical marijuana than other marijuana available in the retail market place.
  • Provide for access to medical marijuana strains and caregiver services that are not available in the retail market place.

This win for those suffering with PTSD means Colorado now joins the list of more than 20 states that approve medical marijuana for treatment of these conditions.

Medical marijuana provides a safer alternative for many patients. Existing treatments for PTSD, primarily pharmacotherapy and psychotherapy, have limitations and do not necessarily result in effective treatment. Some patients experience high potential for addiction to opioids and other prescription drugs. 

Colorado is the only state that had formally denied a request to add PTSD to its list of approved conditions for use of medical marijuana.

Currently in the U.S., 20 states, Guam and Puerto Rico, have approved PTSD on their medical conditions for veterans, and the national American Legion has also approved use of medical cannabis use for their veterans. 

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