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State Health Director Challenged Over PTSD Medical Marijuana Restrictions

A marijuana advocacy group is challenging limits imposed by state Health Director Will Humble on how and when patients with post-traumatic stress disorder can legally use the drug. Arizona Public Radio’s Howard Fischer reports.

The 2010 voter-approved Medical Marijuana Act allows patients with certain specified conditions to buy up to 2 1/2 ounces of the drug every two weeks. These range from glaucoma and AIDS to any chronic or debilitating condition that leads to severe and chronic plan. But, it also permits the health director to add conditions if there is scientific evidence the drug can help. Last month Humble agreed to add PTSD to the list — but only to help people deal with the symptoms. And, he required evidence showing patients were actually being treated for PTSD. Attorney Ken Sobol of the Arizona Cannabis Nurses Association sued, saying those restrictions are illegal. But, Humble said the limits are based on the organization’s own arguments.

“There is some evidence that it can provide, as they attested at the hearing, some relief from symptoms. But nowhere in the paper did it argue or present any evidence that it's an effective treatment,” Humble said.

Sobol is asking a judge to not only overturn the restrictions but also order that marijuana for PTSD patients be made available immediately and not five months from now as Humble ordered.

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