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PTSD and Pot Debate Rages

Medical marijuana is now legal in 14 states, but as Shirley Wang notes in her Wall Street Journal Health Blog, to date only New Mexico allows doctors to use marijuana to treat post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Several studies including a 2007 report in the Journal of Traumatic Stress conclude that marijuana can be an effective treatment for PTSD. But the states aren't convinced. In Colorado, the state Health Department last month denied a petition to include PTSD on the list of conditions eligible for treatment with medical marijuana.

Of course, if Proposition 19, the California Marijuana Legalization Initiative, passes, California's troops and veterans who want to smoke marijuana for their PTSD can do so depending on local government regulations. Meanwhile, Veterans for Medical Marijuana Access (VMMA) is working to convince the VA as well as state governments to allow marijuana to be used to treat veterans with PTSD and other psychological issues. The VA recently said it will allow its patients to use medical marijuana in states where it is legal, but it still primarily allows it only for use in pain control, not for PTSD.