As director of the Arizona Department of Health Services, Will Humble is the man working behind the scenes to run Arizona’s fledgling medical-marijuana program.
Over the past several months, Humble has been weighing whether to expand the program to allow legal use of the drug by those who have post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety, depression or migraines. He’s heard from patients, their families and physicians who said the drug helps manage pain at public hearings. He’s listened to opponents who say the drug leads to dangerous situations in the home and on the road. He’s read new University of Arizona studies that concluded there is simply not enough evidence to prove whether marijuana is medically effective. And back in college, he even tested the drug himself.
The state’s program already permits medical marijuana use for conditions such as chronic pain, cancer and hepatitis C. As of late June, about 30,000 people participated in the state’s program, which in certain instances, allows them to grow marijuana.
Arizona is one of 17 states nationally that allows medical marijuana. It would become the only one in the nation to allow medical marijuana for anxiety and depression if those options were approved.
In a Thursday interview with The Arizona Republic, Humble shed light on his long-awaited decision, which can be appealed.
Question: Will you put post-traumatic stress disorder on the list of qualifying conditions for medical marijuana? Why or why not?
Answer: No. There’s just not the scientific evidence out there yet to support permanently adding any of the conditions to the qualified list, at least right now. I recognize there’s a real shortage of studies and data that’s out there. You base your policy decisions on science and research, and not ideology or a predetermined political point of view.
– Read the entire article at The Arizona Republic.