In response to the Colorado Board of Health’s recent decision to not allow post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) to be considered a qualified condition under the state’s medical marijuana law, a group of patients have filed a lawsuit against local government officials in hopes of getting the decision reversed.
Last Thursday, five PTSD patients filed a lawsuit with the Denver District Court, disputing July’s ruling in which the state refused to accept PTSD as a legitimate medical condition. The suit argues that it has been more than 15 years since Colorado added a new qualified condition to the list. And even with a solid recommendation from a leading state health official, the panel still neglected to act in the best interest of the patients.
At the root of the Board of Health’s decision is the fact that there is no federal study that suggests cannabis is effective in treating PTSD. The board said that while there are anecdotal reports that marijuana can ease the symptoms of this condition, more concrete evidence was needed before the state would allow PTSD to be recognized under program rules.
“The board in effect established a standard that was impossible to meet,” Bob Hoban, the attorney representing the patients, told The Associated Press. “They insist on having a federal study, which in effect is a futile standard.”
Even though Colorado has a recreational marijuana market in play, many of these patients are on fixed incomes and cannot afford the additional 28 percent tax that comes attached to this sector. Furthermore, some argue that dispensaries don’t carry effective strains and that personal cultivation isn’t always an option due to housing restrictions.
Officials with the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment now have 21 days to issue a response to the complaint. However, a hearing date for this issue has not been set.
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