Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Washington State Considering Expanding Medical Marijuana Use

Washington state health officials are considering expanding the categories for which medical marijuana may be used.

​Washington State health officials are on the verge of deciding whether patients suffering from depression or certain anxiety disorders should be allowed to use medical marijuana as part of their treatment, Molly Rosbach at The Seattle Times reports.

Washington's medical marijuana law, adopted by voter initiative in 1998, limits the legal use of medical marijuana to patients who have been diagnosed with a "terminal or debilitating medical condition."

That includes patients with cancer, HIV, multiple sclerosis, hepatitis C and several other diseases causing pain or nausea "unrelieved by standard medical treatments and conditions."

On July 20 a petition was submitted to the Medical Quality Assurance Commission, which is responsible for deciding which conditions qualify for medical marijuana use, asking that they add bipolar disorder, severe depression and anxiety-related disorders to the list.

A public hearing will be held Wednesday night, Dec. 2, in Seatac to consider the petition. The hearing will be at 7 p.m. at the SeaTac Radisson Hotel, 17001 Pacific Highway S., SeaTac, WA.

Dr. Greg Carter: "It's much safer than opiate medications like Oxycontin because you cannot overdose on cannabis."

Dr. Greg Carter, professor of rehabilitation medicine at the University of Washington and the first researcher to document the effectiveness of cannabinoids in treating ALS, said marijuana is regarded as safe by many doctors when used responsibly.

"It's much safer than opiate medications like Oxycontin because you cannot overdose on cannabis," he said.

Carter noted that he doesn't personally treat psychological conditions, but that there is medical evidence that marijuana can be useful in treating bipolar disorder and anxiety.

Dr. Carter, along with NORML's Dr. Dale Gieringer and Ed Rosenthal, wrote the recently updated Marijuana Medical Handbook.

The commission and the board are expected to issue a written order with their decision in a few weeks, the Times reports.


Tommy said...

Dear Lord...I sure hope they add anxiety disorders to the list. I am a 44-year old man who has never even been arrested, much less convicted. It doesn't sit well with me that a man like me should be considered a criminal because he has found something that alleviates the anxiety he experiences from his PTSD. I hold a medical provider authorization now for one of my patient-friends, so I'm covered if I'm stopped, but it is still illegal for me to use. The idea of going to jail terrifies me, but not enough to stop using marijuana to alleviate my symptoms. If that makes me a criminal, well, I guess -- so be it.

Brian said...

I am a survivor of child abuse, sexuall abuse, as well as other horiffic abuses, and as a result,
aquired, "Chronic PTSD".

For 15 years I have had many psycotherapy visits. At there recommendation, I have tried various pharmacutical drugs to help "cope with", and "balance out" the horrific tailspinning effect,that after "triggered", can last three or four days to recover. The financial cost, or "worse", loss of job, and don't forget, "criminal prosecution", its to much!

"Its wrong" that our Elected officials, Doctors, the AMA, and the Psyciatric/Social working community continue to be obstinate. "A profesional opinion doesn't mean there right!" Marijuana has an immediate, and positive, affect, and there is resonable middle ground to meet on!

It has been way to long for "our" goverment, at any level, to stall any longer regarding the benifits of "medical marijuana." We do not need anouther study, we need forward action.


☮~alapoet~☠ said...

Thank you for that intelligent and thoughtful comment, Brian.

I'm sorry for what you went through, and I'm glad that marijuana has been able to bring you some relief.