Veterans Are Key as Surge of States OK Cannabis for PTSD

NEW YORK (AP) — It was a telling setting for a decision on whether post-traumatic stress disorder patients could use medical marijuana.

Against the backdrop of the nation’s largest Veterans Day parade, Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced this month he’d sign legislation making New York the latest in a fast-rising tide of states to OK therapeutic pot as a PTSD treatment, though it’s illegal under federal law and doesn’t boast extensive, conclusive medical research.

Twenty-eight states plus the District of Columbia now include PTSD in their medical marijuana programs, a tally that has more than doubled in the last two years, according to data compiled by the pro-legalization Marijuana Policy Project. A 29th state, Alaska, doesn’t incorporate PTSD in its medical marijuana program but allows everyone over 20 to buy cannabis legally.

Veteran Michael Krawitz in front of mobile veterans clinic
Air Force veteran Michael Krawitz, executive director for Veterans for Medical Cannabis Access, poses for a photo beside a mobile veterans clinic at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs center in Greensboro, N.C., in this March 8, 2016, file photo. Medical marijuana first became legal in 1996 in California for a broad range of conditions; New Mexico became the first state specifically to include PTSD patients. “It’s quite a sea change,” Krawitz said. (Allen G. Breed/AP)

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