Court Upholds Medical Marijuana Rules For PTSD

On Wednesday, Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Crane McClennen ruled against Arizona Cannabis Nurses Association, who had filed a lawsuit against the Arizona Department of Health Services, over a restrictions imposed by former Director Will Humble on the use of medical marijuana for those suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder.

The judge found that Humble’s restrictions were based on “substantial evidence.”

In 2010, Arizona voters approved the Arizona Medical Marijuana Act, allowing the use of marijuana for vicitms of certain medical conditions.

In July 2014, Humble issued a Director’s Decision that authorized the use of marijuana for patients with a diagnosis of PTSD (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder) that are currently undergoing conventional treatment. According to Humble, physician certifications would not be valid for treatment, but would be valid for palliative care of PTSD symptoms.

The Cannabis Nurses Association sued challenging the criteria in the Decision, which requires that a physician attest that their patient is receiving some kind of treatment for PTSD. Certifying physicians are required to attest that they have reviewed evidence documenting that the patient is currently undergoing conventional treatment for PTSD before signing the medical marijuana certification, according to Humble.

In December 2013, Humble denied a petition to add PTSD to the list of debilitating medical conditions that qualify people for an Arizona Medical Marijuana Registration Card. Humble said that he denied the petition because, at the time, he believed there was a lack of scientific evidence to document whether Cannabis is helpful or not to treat or provide palliative care for PTSD.

Humble had set January 1, 2015 as the implementation date of this decision, in order to allow a few months for certifying physicians, dispensary medical directors, and dispensary agents to develop policies and procedures and educational materials required by ADHS rules.

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