As the legalization of medical marijuana remains a controversial subject, Maine has upped the ante on the touchy subject further by introducing an amendment that is expected to raise more eyebrows.
An update of the Maine Medical Use of Marijuana Act now includes post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) as one of the health conditions that can qualify a patient to receive a prescription for medical cannabis. Other qualifying conditions added to the state’s marijuana bill include inflammatory bowel disease and other disorders that cause persistent muscle spasms.
Rep. Elizabeth Dickerson (D-Rockland) sponsored the bill’s amendment, which is set to be implemented by September. The legislator decided to push the additional provisions forward after receiving feedback from elderly residents who prefer using pot instead of synthetic medication, as reported in Bangor Daily News.
David Boyer, who works in the Marijuana Policy Project as the political director for Maine, is happy with the outcome of the amended marijuana act. “There is mounting evidence demonstrating the benefits of medical marijuana for individuals suffering from PTSD,” he said. Boyer also commended the legislators “for taking action to ensure veterans and others living with PTSD are able to use medical marijuana to alleviate their symptoms and live healthy and productive lives.”
While many US states have enacted medical marijuana bills, only five other states have included PTSD as a qualifying condition for a cannabis prescription: New Mexico, Massachusetts, Delaware, Connecticut and California.