Pubdate: Fri, 01 Mar 2013
Source: Statesman Journal (Salem, OR)
Copyright: 2013 Statesman Journal
Author: Queenie Wong


A bill that would allow people with post-traumatic stress disorder to 
get medical marijuana cards advanced Thursday despite mixed views 
from lawmakers.

The Senate Health and Human Services Committee passed Senate Bill 281 
on a 4-1 vote, referring it to the Senate President's desk where it 
will be assigned another committee. It's expected to move to the 
Senate Judiciary Committee next.

Use of medical marijuana is currently allowed in the state for 
patients with certain debilitating medical conditions such as cancer, 
glaucoma, Alzheimer's disease, HIV and AIDS. The bill would add PTSD 
to that list.

Post-traumatic stress disorder is a type of anxiety disorder that 
occurs in people who have seen or experienced a traumatic event that 
involved the threat of injury or death.

Some lawmakers said they were convinced by testimony that medical 
marijuana could effectively treat PTSD, but others were skeptical.

Chairwoman of the Senate Health and Human Services Committee, Sen. 
Laurie Monnes Anderson, D-Gresham, said she heard some compelling 
reasons during the public hearing why PTSD should be added to the 
state's medical marijuana list.

Those who were dealing with PTSD told lawmakers that medical 
marijuana helped with nightmares and flashbacks, she said.

Sen. Jeff Kruse, R-Roseburg, voted against the bill. He said 
lawmakers should take a broader look at the state's medical marijuana program.

"If we are we going to treat marijuana as a medicine it should be 
treated as any other prescription," he said.

But Kruse also suggested that therapy might be a more effective way 
to treat PTSD as opposed to prescribing a drug.

Lawmakers debated whether or not the bill should be advanced to 
another committee with a do pass recommendation or no recommendation.
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MAP posted-by: Jay Bergstrom