Governor Refuses to Add PTSD to Medical Marijuana Conditions List
Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner continued to demonstrate his unwillingness to amend the state’s medical marijuana pilot program until it finally gets off the ground by illegal drug possession ” vetoing a proposal that would have added several ailments to the list of qualifying conditions. The proposed measure would have added, among others, post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD, allowing those suffering from the condition to seek medical marijuana treatment legally. The governor’s decision is not sitting well with many across the state, including a number of veterans groups who believe that Illinois needs to keep up with other states, especially when it comes to offering aid to those who have sacrificed and served.
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
Once known as shell shock and battle fatigue, post-traumatic stress disorder is a serious psychiatric condition that can affect an individual who has experienced or witnessed a particularly troubling or terrifying event. The event typically involves the infliction or threat of serious harm or violence, and may include wartime combat, a violent crime, auto accident, sexual assault, or natural disaster. PTSD can cause intense feelings of fear, helplessness, anger, nervousness, anxiety, depression, and other physiological and psychological symptoms.
While there is no cure for PTSD, its symptoms are often treated with antidepressants or blood pressure medications. Medicinal treatments are commonly provided in conjunction with psychotherapy to help the affected person develop coping skills and to work through fears. However, according to many military veterans and a growing number of more progressive mental health professionals , marijuana may provide a measure of help and relief to those who suffer from PTSD.
To date, twelve states and the District of Columbia have approved PTSD as a qualifying condition for medical marijuana in their jurisdictions. This number represents roughly half of all states that have any type of medicinal cannabis program. Veterans groups, in particular, were hoping that Illinois would join them. “It makes me angry because I don’t think they are researching the whole situation,” said Mike Malstrom, veteran and member of the Marine Corps League.
According the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), Illinois is home to more than 720,000 military veterans, including more than half a million wartime vets. For its part, however, the VA insists that the effects of medical marijuana on PTSD have not been adequately studied and will not make an official recommendation regarding its use.
Help for Drug Possession Charges
As the Illinois medical marijuana program finally gets going, those without a qualifying condition and valid registration card can still be prosecuted for marijuana possession. If you are facing such charges, contact an experienced Joliet criminal defense attorney at the Law Office of Jack L. Zaremba . We will evaluate your case and work with you to protect your rights and your future. Call 815-740-4025 for your free consultation today.