Michigan to allow medical marijuana for PTSD?


The State of Michigan is one step closer to allowing people suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder to access medical cannabis legally this week after a state panel gave approval to a citizen petition to add the condition to the list of qualifying medical marijuana ailments.
The Michigan Marihuana Act Review Panel voted 7-2 Tuesday, pushing the motion forward to a public hearing sometime in the next 60 days according to state law. An official vote only be can be taken after public testimony.

“In my opinion, marijuana is one of the best medications for people with PTSD,” Dr. David Crocker, a member of the panel, told MLive.com. “We have a lot of veterans with PTSD in our clinics. Many of them will tell you they think marijuana saved their lives, and many of their families will tell you the same thing.”
One of the two dissenting votes came from Jeanne Lewandowski, director of palliative medicine at St. John Hospital in Detroit. She said that she feared vets would become socially isolated with marijuana use and further their issue re-integrating into everyday society.
While PTSD seems to be on the table, the panel did reject a number of other ailments including insomnia, autism and asthma – all three things for which cannabis has been a proven, safe treatment for years.
The panel has also been surrounded with a bit of controversy, and an original panel had to be disbanded after it was found that the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory affairs didn’t appoint members correctly. Because the original panel had already taken up autism and asthma and heard public hearing, the decision this week by the new panel is considered final – angering some, including panel member David Brogren, president of Cannabis Patients United. A vote to add Parkinson’s diseases to the list was also tossed out with the old panel.
“I don’t believe the errors were malicious or anything like that — it wasn’t a conspiracy, they just made a mistake — but I think what they should do was go back to square one on all (the petitions),” Brogen said. “That would be the most fair thing.”
But patients hoping for some relief in dealing with autism, the move was crushing. That includes Jenny Allen who has to watch her six-year-old son suffer autism that at times causes him to bang his head on the floor and bite himself.
“I’m incredibly disappointed,” Allen, 32 told the Detroit Free Press after the meeting. “The decision on autism was incredibly poorly informed.”
Most of that misinformation came from Lewandowski, according to the Free Press. “Many of [autism sufferers]are children, and there is not enough research on the medical marijuana impact on the developing brain,” she told the panel.
The panel’s decision ultimately comes down to the head of the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs, who appointed the nine-member panel.