Millions of Americans are afflicted with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, or PTSD, and Minnesota has become the most recent addition to a host of states that permit medicinal cannabis as a potential treatment option for this disabling condition.
On July 1st, the state health department’s Office of Medical Cannabis opened up enrollment to PTSD sufferers to gain inclusion in Minnesota’s medical cannabis program. The eight medical cannabis clinics within the state will open their doors to these sufferers come August. By the end of the first week, ten residents applied to participate in the program, and one was already fully enrolled.
However, the VA’s official position is that there is not yet enough research to determine whether medical cannabis is actually a safe and effective treatment for PTSD. This position is perceived to be largely influenced by the federal government’s scheduling of the plant as a Schedule One illicit substance-a classification that provides great worry and great obstacle to states and researchers alike who want to increase awareness and knowledge of cannabis’ therapeutic benefits.
Over half of the nation has legalized cannabis’ use as a medical treatment for a host of conditions, most of which-like PTSD-are severe and debilitating. Of these states, twenty-two consider PTSD to be a qualifying condition that can warrant treatment with medical cannabis.
Although the state launched its medical cannabis program two years ago, and has over 900 doctors involved who can prescribe the plant to their patients, the Minnesota Medical Association remains wary of cannabis altogether.
A veteran of the Marine Corps and Minnesota resident, Ed Erdos has chosen medical cannabis, and is speaking out in hopes of changing minds and increasing awareness of how beneficial cannabis can be to the suffering. Initially he was prescribed medical cannabis as a means of coping with ongoing pain that he experiences as the result of a helicopter crash when he was in the service. But he soon discovered that his pain medication also eased his mind of the nightmarish fear and anxiety caused by his service-related PTSD.
“[Cannabis] has improved my quality of life to the point where I can function on a daily basis,” says the veteran who had spent five years hunkered down in his home because of crippling anxiety.
After struggling for years to feel safe and comfortable to leave his home, Ed finally had the 4th of July that every service member deserves. Not only did he happily leave his home, but he loaded up himself and his wife into an RV, which they drove to the Mississippi Bluffs for the national holiday.