With ever increasing research on marijuana Colorado seems to be heading the right way. However, when it comes to taking this research ahead in collaboration with other states, its investment seems to be going down the drain.
Colorado had approved a grant of $9 million for the aid of 9 medical studies on cannabis. The part that was not used was diverted towards the research project by Dr. Sue Sisley to study the effects of marijuana treatment on veterans suffering from PTSD. The Executive Director and Chief Medical Director at Colorado’s Department of Public Health and Environment, Larry Wolk, expressed his pleasure at the very act, saying, “This was a very unique…once in a lifetime opportunity for us. We’ve certainly heard from a large number of veterans that they believe that marijuana is helpful for their PTSD, but we’ve also heard from a number of veterans and treatment providers that it may be harmful.”
Dr Sisley and Her Predicament
Dr. Sue Sisley, a researcher studying the effects of marijuana on PTSD in veterans says that here research can get stalled without the aid from Colorado Veteran’s Affairs Health Care System. She informed that with the absence of the requisite help she is unable to recruit the 76 qualified participants for the study that is to be held in Arizona.
Those veterans that qualify for the study must be patients of chronic PTSD connected to their service, pass rigorous scrutiny, and must be able to pay visit to Phoenix laboratory once a week.
She reports that “The biggest blockade right now…is the fact that the Phoenix VA hospital will not allow us access.” The problem is that Phoenix VA Medical has the largest number of PTSD patients who have developed resistance to treatment, but the center does not allow such access of treatment to them.
Dr Sisley further said, “I worry that we won’t be able to complete this study because the absolute highest density of treatment-resistant PTSD patients is in that hospital.”
This hospital treat as many as 91,000 veterans suffering from service related PTSD.
The Difficulty with Marijuana Colorado Research
The study that Dr. Sisley is pursuing has the approval of the FDA, but the Phoenix VA does not permit the access to the treatment because of the federal laws that govern the state. With the legalization of marijuana as medicine in Colorado, research in the state has gained impetus. However, in Arizona distribution and dispensing of drugs is still a federal crime. It’s another story that several state policies do permit the very act.
Defending Arizona’s stance, Paul Coupaud, a public affairs officer, explained in an email, “It’s not that we’re against helping her, it’s just that the laws and policies — things like implied endorsement, relations with non-federal entities, and VA research — don’t allow it.”
What Colorado Veterans Think
No very surprisingly, the Colorado veterans are hardly waiting for an answer. They are more or less convinced that marijuana as medicine can help them overcome PTSD
“I feel like I can think more logically,” says Zach Phillips, one of the veterans who are undergoing marijuana treatment in Colorado.