Colorado’s Scientific Advisory Committee to review petition to add PTSD

PTSDThe word is out! The Scientific Advisory Council (SAC) will be reviewing a petition to add PTSD to the list of qualifying conditions for a medical marijuana license in Colorado.

From the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE):

Public Notice:
Medical Marijuana Scientific Advisory Council Meeting
8:30 am
Friday April 10, 2014
Hilton Garden Inn Cherry Creek, 600 S. Colorado Blvd. Denver, CO 80246
Topic: PTSD Petition Review

This meeting is open to public attendance. However, there will be no public comment taken.

The Medical Marijuana Scientific Advisory Council (SAC) will review the petition and discuss the scientific evidence pertaining to the medical use of marijuana to treat Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). The SAC is responsible for making an approval or denial recommendation to the department’s executive director regarding the petition to add PTSD as a debilitating medical condition to the Medical Marijuana Registry.

This will be the third or fourth time the CDPHE has been petitioned to add PTSD. Because all previous petitions were rejected, in nearly 15 years, not a single new condition has been added to the original eight in Amendment 20.

What makes this time different?

The SAC. This is the first time a petition will be reviewed by a 13-member committee in a public forum. Previous petitions were reviewed by a single doctor or small closed committee. The SAC is made up of medical experts and researchers with one exception: me, the member appointed to represent patients.

Updated standards. Previously, the CDPHE only looked at human clinical trials to make their decisions. We all know there aren’t many of those for cannabis and PTSD or other conditions, so the bar was set pretty high. Because the SAC included observational studies in the research they recommended for funding, it only seemed appropriate to also include observational studies when considering new petitions. So this time, both clinical trials and observational studies will be included in the review process.

It’s interesting to note that the only condition that has passed muster and been recommended to the Board of Health is Tourette’s Syndrome, which the BoH rejected. Perhaps another petition now would be received more favorably.

What can we expect?

Although public input won’t be allowed, the public can attend the meeting and bare witness to the discussion. Assuming the SAC makes a favorable recommendation, there should be time for public comment when the Board of Health meets to vote on the recommendation.

Categories: Advocacy, Colorado, Mental Health, Patients, Research, Veterans

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

9 replies

  1. Thank you thank you. Spouse with PTSD


  2. Congratulations Colorado! On Friday, April 10, the Scientific Advisory Council voted to recommend that PTSD be added to the list of qualifying conditions for a medical marijuana license in Colorado! Next step: the Board of Health.


  3. Hello and thank you for hard work and support for such an important condition! A female US Army Veteran, who suffers from post traumatic stress, and who works with many veterans through an organization called growforvets. Recenty, at one one of our events, it was brought to our attention byou several veterans who suffer from post traumatic stress, that they don’t feel they have a “disorder”, but a condition, and that the word “disorder” no longer be used. This seems like a small service for those who feel that way. Please consider this for future references. There is a group of veterans legally pursuing this issue , also. ThankSafety for reading.


    • I understand their point, Donna, however, the DSM-V refers to it as Posttraumatic Stress “Disorder” (PTSD). It’s interesting to note that this point is discussed in this paper by the American Psychiatric Association saying:
      “Certain military leaders, both active and retired, believe the word ‘disorder’ makes many soldiers who are experiencing PTSD symptoms reluctant to ask for help. They have urged a change to rename the disorder posttraumatic stress injury, a description that they say is more in line with the language of troops and would reduce stigma. But others believe it is the military environment that needs to change, not the name of the disorder, so that mental health care is more accessible and soldiers are encouraged to seek it in a timely fashion. Some attendees at the 2012 APA Annual Meeting, where this was discussed in a session, also questioned whether injury is too imprecise a word for a medical diagnosis. In DSM-5, PTSD will continue to be identified as a disorder.”

      Click to access PTSD%20Fact%20Sheet.pdf

      I’ll do my best to use the phrase “Post-Traumatic Stress” and leave whether it’s a disorder or a condition up to the reader.



  1. Week of April 5: What did you do for patients this week? | Cannabis Patients Alliance
  2. HELP get PTSD added to the list for medical marijuana in Colorado! | Cannabis Patients Alliance
  3. Marijuana for PTSD: The Scientific Advisory Council’s Debate | Cannabis Patients Alliance
  4. 6 reasons to add PTSD to the medical marijuana list now that we have recreational | Cannabis Patients Alliance

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