No hearing for PTSD
Last week, Brian Vicente, executive director of Sensible Colorado, sent word that the group's second petition to add post-traumatic stress disorder to Colorado's list of maladies considered treatable with medical marijuana had been denied by the Department of Public Health and Environment. Sort of.
"The way it works is, the state has 180 days to officially deny a hearing, but they have 120 days to schedule a public hearing," says Vicente in a phone interview. "And they didn't schedule the hearing, which means they are not gonna allow the petition to go through."
We reached out to the state health department to confirm this, but spokesman Mark Salley did not return the message. He did speak with Westword, however, saying that the department still had time to review the petition.
Vicente's not hearing that: "Yeah, Mark Salley is either ignorant of his own regulations, or he is being deceptive."
In any case, it's all led to the creation of a group called Veterans for 64 — the number referring to Amendment 64, the coming question on marijuana decriminalization.
"The state's failure to act is an effective denial of this compassionate petition," says group chair Bob Wiley in a statement. "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 to alleviate their suffering."
And an alleviation of suffering truly was the goal, says Vicente, especially considering that, as he mentioned in an earlier story ("Stress test," ReLeaf, July 18), reputable sources have said 18 military veterans are committing suicide each day.
"You know, all we wanted was a public hearing so we could actually have our say, and listen to actual veterans, and they could allow the Board of Health to hear how [marijuana] helps them," he says. "But they denied us the hearing, which means they deny the entire petition."
• Denver TV station KCNC-TV reported Monday that local veterinarians are seeing more animals under the influence of marijuana, but it doesn't have the same effect as it does on humans. "[Dr. Stacy] Meola is a veterinarian at a Wheat Ridge clinic," reads the story. "She coordinated a five-year study that shows the number of dogs sickened by marijuana has quadrupled in Colorado since medical marijuana was legalized. Most dogs survive, but not all."
• In a Facebook post, local advocate Jessica Hogan says 60 Minutes will be in the Springs on Wednesday, Oct. 3, "looking for 3 people ... to film while medicating." If interested, write firstname.lastname@example.org.