State Health Director Will Humble acted illegally in denying access to medical marijuana to people — many of them former soldiers — suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, an administrative law judge has ruled.
Judge Thomas Shedden said Humble relied solely on the lack of scientific “peer-reviewed” studies in determining that PTSD should not be added to the list of conditions for which marijuana could be made available. But the judge said the health chief should also have considered the testimony of doctors and nurses who said the drug has helped their patients.
Humble said Friday he is studying the ruling but has not decided whether he will follow it. Under state law, Shedden’s decision is merely a recommendation and Humble has until July 9 to decide whether to reject it.
Attorney Kenneth Sobel, representing the Arizona Cannabis Nurses Association, said Friday if that happens he will ask a superior judge to intercede and overrule Humble.
“Veterans desperately need this medicine,” he said, citing figures showing 22 former soldiers kill themselves every day, many of them suffering from PTSD.
The 2010 voter-approved Arizona Medical Marijuana Act allows the use of the drug by patients suffering from a list of several specified medical conditions. These range from glaucoma and AIDS to any chronic or debilitating condition that leads to severe and chronic plan.
So far close to 50,000 people have qualified under the existing list of conditions to purchase up to 2 1/2 ounces of marijuana every two weeks.
– Read the entire article at Arizona Daily Sun.