New pro-marijuana group forms after PTSD denial

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We've left a message with a spokesman for the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment for confirmation, but in the meantime it seems a second petition to have post-traumatic stress disorder added to the state's list of conditions considered treatable with medical marijuana has, essentially, been denied.

"In order to approve the petition, the Heath Department must schedule a Public Hearing in front of the Board of Health within 120 days," reads a press release from Brian Vicente, Sensible Colorado and the Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol. "Since 120 days have elapsed since the petition's filing without a Hearing being scheduled, the petition is effectively denied."

Because of this a new group, Veterans for 64, will be formed to back Amendment 64, the marijuana-decriminalization ballot question.

We covered the issue in our July issue of ReLeaf, writing at the time, "It's an interesting situation, because since its inception in 2000, the Colorado medical marijuana law has never OK'd anything but the original maladies. Contrast that with states like New Mexico, which put PTSD on its list of approved ailments at the behest of its veterans; California's already lenient law — which was written to allow doctors to prescribe MMJ at their discretion for what the California Department of Public Health calls "any other chronic or persistent medical symptom"; and Arizona, which has already done exactly what Sensible Colorado is trying to do."

The real kicker in that story came in a quote from Vicente, who said that 18 veterans are committing suicide per day.

"The state's failure to act is an effective denial of this compassionate petition," says Bob Wiley, Vicente's colleague at Sensible Colorado, in the release. "Our only option is to support Amendment 64, which will ensure that Coloradans 21 and older who suffer from PTSD will no longer be subject to arrest and prosecution for using marijuana."

A news conference announcing the new group will be held at the El Paso County Courthouse — scene of multitudes of protests over the prosecution of Colorado MMJ patients and providers — starting at noon on Thursday.

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