Marijuana may be a solution for veterans struggling with post-traumatic stress disorder.
A new study from the state of Colorado has been tasked with researching whether weed is an acceptable treatment for PTSD, Stars and Stripes reported Monday. With $2.15 million from the state of Colorado, researchers from the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies, the University of Pennsylvania, the University of Colorado, Johns Hopkins University and the Scottsdale Research Institute will conduct a two-phase experiment with participants on marijuana and PTSD. The research team is expected to begin recruiting veterans for the study in September and will run for about two years, adding two participants per month.
Phase one will gather 76 participants who will smoke randomly assigned marijuana that could be a placebo strain from a pipe over the course of three weeks. Subjects will be asked to keep a diary documenting their experiences. They will then abstain from smoking for two weeks.
Phase two is a repeat of phase one, with participants required to follow up with researchers for six months. The team will be tracking measurements of PTSD, PTSD symptoms and safety data.
Not everyone is a fan of marijuana as an answer to PTSD. Army doctor Lieutenant General Nadya West told Time magazine he had reservations about marijuana being used to help U.S. veterans suffering from PTSD due to the adverse health effects. West said marijuana “is more dangerous, with some of the carcinogens that are in it, than tobacco," Time reported Aug. 18.
Meanwhile, New Jersey residents are petitioning Gov. Chris Christie to sign a bill that would add PTSD to the list of illnesses that would make a person eligible for the state’s medical marijuana program, NJ.com reported Monday. The bill would allow use for those whose PTSD symptoms are not treatable with conventional therapy. With Christie’s signature, New Jersey could become the 18th state to allow PTSD to be treated with medical marijuana.