Arizona court backs limits on cannabis PTSD recommendations

Arizona’s Court of Appeals ruled that the former director of the state’s Department of Health Services did not violate the law when he decreed that doctors may recommend medical marijuana to treat only the symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder, not the illness itself.

Voters approved the Arizona Medical Marijuana Act in 2010. The health services director at the time, Will Humble, added PTSD to the state’s list of qualifying conditions in 2014.

Initially a skeptic of medical marijuana as a treatment for PTSD, Humble approved the use of medical marijuana with limits, Capitol Media Services reported. The restrictions included a directive that doctors could recommend medical marijuana only to PTSD patients already receiving conventional treatment and never immediately after a diagnosis.

Humble explained that he hadn’t seen proof that medical cannabis was an effective treatment for PTSD, Capitol Media Services reported. The Arizona Cannabis Nurses Association filed suit, arguing that Humble didn’t have the right to issue such restrictions.

But the appeals court concluded Humble did not exceed his authority when he issued the limitations, according to the Daily Courier. The court also ruled Humble was entitled to distinguish between patients who sought medical cannabis to treat PTSD symptoms and those who sought it as a cure for the disorder, according to Capitol Media Services.