Proposed medical marijuana bill would legalize treatment for PTSD; Decatur veteran says he’d try it

Proposed medical marijuana bill would legalize treatment for PTSD; Decatur veteran says he’d try it
File photo (Source: Hawaii News Now/file)

DECATUR, Ala. (WAFF) - The medical marijuana debate is returning to Montgomery, and potential treatments for one veteran could be in the balance.

Sen. Tim Melson, R-Florence, filed Senate Bill 165. The bill is titled the “Compassion Act,” and would regulate medical marijuana from seed to sale.

It could not be smoked, and does not legalize recreational marijuana.

However, it would legalize use (with a prescription) for the following conditions:

  1. Anxiety or panic disorder.
  2. Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).
  3. Cancer-related cachexia, nausea or vomiting, weight loss, or chronic pain.
  4. Crohn’s Disease.
  5. Epilepsy or a condition causing seizures.
  6. Fibromyalgia.
  7. HIV/AIDS-related nausea or weight loss.
  8. Persistent nausea that is not significantly responsive to traditional treatment, except for nausea related to pregnancy, cannabis-induced cyclical vomiting syndrome, or cannabinoid hyperemesis syndrome.
  9. Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).
  10. Sleep disorders.
  11. Spasticity associated with a motor neuron 6 disease, including Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis.
  12. Spasticity associated with Multiple Sclerosis or 8 a spinal cord injury.
  13. A terminal illness in which the life expectancy is six months or less.
  14. Tourette’s Syndrome.
  15. A condition causing chronic or intractable pain in which conventional therapeutic intervention and opiate therapy is contraindicated or has proved ineffective.
  16. Any other medical condition added by the commission, by rule, based on scientific evidence indicating efficacy in treating the condition or treating symptoms of the condition, or any other condition approved by the Medical Cannabis Appeal Panel.

Cesar Soto, a former bomb technician who lives in Decatur, said he suffers from PTSD and would try medical marijuana if legalized.

“I’ve been in some experiences, and some conflicts, things I have to live the rest of my life with it,” he said.

"It's been rough, I've been, changed my personality, my attitude, and I'm trying to be back to it."

He said the alternatives aren’t worth it because of the side effects.

"In order for me to not feel the effects of my PTSD, I'm going to be knocked out all day? Then why do I wake up."

The bill is being debated right now, and Mobile County District Attorney Ashley Rich is putting her foot down and looking north as a prime example.

“Marijuana in Colorado, marijuana traffic deaths increased 48 percent, marijuana related emergency room visits increased 49 percent. Homicides in the State of Colorado rose 14 percent. It’s not going to make my life easier. It’s going to make my life worse,” she said.

Colorado allows for recreational use, while Alabama would not.

There is a hearing for the bill on Wednesday.

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