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DEA Approves Medical Marijuana Study for Treatment of PTSD

Apr 24, 2016 01:42 AM EDT
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The use of medical marijuana has always been under scrutiny in many U.S. states and in other countries. But in a recent decision by the United States Drug Enforcement Agency, the study on the use of medical marijuana to treat post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in veterans is now possible.

The DEA approved the use of medical marijuana in the treatment of PTSD in Arizona and Colorado, according to the Phoenix New Times.

The Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS) will conduct the study and it will give veterans a chance to try the said treatment. Dr. Sue Sisley, an advocate of medical marijuana, and MAPS are known to have lobbied for the study to be approved for almost seven years, and only this year did DEA gave it a green light.

According to MAPS, the approval "marks the first time a clinical trial intended to develop smoked botanical marijuana into a legal prescription drug has received full approval from U.S. regulatory agencies."

MAPS is a non-profit research and educational organization founded in 1986 "that develops medical, legal, and cultural contexts for people to benefit from the careful uses of psychedelics and marijuana."

In a press release, they said that the approval of their study means they will be able to "demonstrate the safety and efficacy of smoked botanical marijuana as a prescription medicine for specific medical uses to the satisfaction of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.".

In the same report by the Phoenix New Times, it is stated that MAPS already signed a $2.156 million contract with the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment

The road to get approval from DEA is not easy, according to Dr. Sisley. "They continued submitting paperwork to the DEA, hunted for appropriate space to conduct the trials, and lobbied to the state of Colorado - successfully - to pay the bills." Despite some legislators' animosity towards the use of marijuana for any form of treatment, the study is now on the table and it is going to happen.

Post traumatic stress disorder or PTSD is a form of psychiatric disorder occurring after persons witness life-threatening events such as military combat, disasters and other traumatic incidents. Veterans from war are the usual victims of PTSD. Although the belief in the medicinal properties of pot or marijuana is still under heavy debate, the drive to help veterans suffering from PTSD is enough to consider the study and the possibility that it can indeed cure the condition.

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