This past Thursday, the Rhode Island senate had a hearing on a bill that would add PTSD to the list of medical ailments for which doctors are legally allowed to prescribe their patients medical cannabis. The senate has not voted on the bill yet, but one of the sponsors of the bill expects that they will vote on the bill sometime this year. This bill is unique because if it is passed it will make PTSD the first mental illness that can be treated with cannabis.
Senator Stephen Archambault (D-Smithfield), who co-sponsored the bill said, “Post traumatic stress disorder is a very real psychological problem, particularly among our veteran community, and it’s our responsibility to provide them with treatment options that can alleviate their suffering.” Current laws state that medical cannabis can be prescribed to patients with a “debilitating medical condition,” referring to physical illnesses such as cancer and HIV/AIDS. The bill was introduced this past February but the Senate Committee on Health and Human services continues to hold hearings on the bill.
The state’s medical marijuana program is fairly popular among voters, with over 10,000 Rhode Island residents currently benefitting from cannabis treatments. Patients who are currently being treated with cannabis have stated how much their treatment has helped them and they hope that the senate will pass this bill so that veterans who suffer from PTSD, certainly a debilitating medical condition can be helped as they have been.
I think it’s awesome that we’re finally expanding the options veterans have when getting medical care, especially in the face of something like PTSD. What do you think? Share in the comments!