Published: Thu, April 27, 2017
Health Care | By Jan Bell

New York Committee Votes Unanimously to Allow Medical Marijuana for PTSD

New York Committee Votes Unanimously to Allow Medical Marijuana for PTSD

The findings from one of the first analyses of adult marijuana usage before and after the passage of MMLs suggest that the laws have contributed to increases in non-medical use and disorders associated with marijuana abuse, the authors noted. In the DSM IV, cannabis abuse and dependence were separate disorders and neither withdrawal nor craving were criteria for a dependence diagnosis.

House Bill 2107 deals primarily with medical marijuana.

The new study can't say medical marijuana laws caused the increases, but Hassin said it's possible adults interpreted the laws to mean marijuana is harmless. But Republican Gov. Greg Abbott said then that doing so "does not open the door to marijuana in Texas".

Laws and attitudes regarding cannabis have changed over the last 20 years.

Pacula added that people should be cautious in interpreting the new study, because it uses national survey data to evaluate state-level trends.

The researchers looked at data from three time periods: 1991 to 1992, when no states allowed marijuana use for medical reasons; 2001 to 2002, when six states had medical marijuana laws; and 2012 to 2013, when 15 states had medical marijuana laws.

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"When you are evaluating the effects of a state law on a sample that is not state-representative, it can be misleading", Pacula said.

Yes, especially with other states enacting their own versions of legal medical marijuana. The rise in illicit use ranged from 3.5 percent in states without MMLs to 7 percent in states that had legalized medical marijuana.

The analysis revealed that between 1991-1992 and 2012-2013, states that had passed MMLs saw a greater increase in illicit marijuana use and marijuana use disorders than states that had not legalized medical marijuana.

The study was funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse and the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, part of the National Institutes of Health. The surveys were self-reported and they admit that more people might have been willing to report their own drug use as it became more socially acceptable.

The study didn't account for differences in state policy, other than by separating Colorado and California from the other states.

Twenty-four of the 29 states with medical marijuana programs allow patients with PTSD to qualify, but NY still does not.

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Colorado legalized medical marijuana in 2000, but its retail dispensary model wasn't in place until 2009.

Additionally, the physician must be available to or offer to provide follow-up care and treatment to the patient to determine the efficacy of the use of medical marijuana as a treatment.

Colorado may be expected to have record-breaking marijuana sales and maintain its position as the highest grossing marijuana state in 2017, but that could change once California gets its recreational market up and running.

The increase in cannabis use disorders could stem from the increasing potency of pot that has occurred under legalization, Hasin said.

The cited claim about increased access comes from an organization called Rethinking Access to Marijuana (RAM).

The nuances of state medical marijuana programs need to be studied so policymakers can balance potential harms and benefits, they said.

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