web analytics

urlThe Oregon Senate Health and Human Services committee on February 7 heard testimony on SB 281. The bill, according to its own summary, “Adds post-traumatic stress disorder to definition of ‘debilitating medical conditions’ for purposes of statutes authorizing medical use of marijuana.”

If the testimony at the hearing is any indication, it seems to have a reasonable chance!

Held in Hearing Room A of the State Capitol building, more than 25 people testified at the hearing. The committee is chaired by Sen. Laurie Monnes Anderson (D-Gresham), a retired public health nurse. Other senators were there, including Sen. Jeff Kruse (R-Roseburg), a ardent opponent of the Oregon Medical Marijuana Act (OMMA), and Sen. Chip Shields (D-Portland), who indicated he supported the measure and would vote to send it on in the process.

The hearing room was not standing room only, as many had hoped, but it was packed with supporters and opponents were absent entirely.

The scheduled testimony was extensive and comprised of local attorneys and advocates, medical experts from Oregon and other states, and veterans who have benefited from marijuana. One highlight was testimony by phone from retired Harvard Dr. Lester Grinspoon, M.D., the original medical marijuana advocate in the 1970s.

Todd Dalotto, president of Oregon's Advisory Committee on Medical Marijuana (ACMM) explained why the current procedure to add qualifying conditions for MMJ is broken

Todd Dalotto, president of Oregon’s Advisory Committee on Medical Marijuana (ACMM) explained why the current procedure to add qualifying conditions for MMJ is broken
[Corvallis City Club]

The first to testify was Todd Dalotto, President of Oregon’s Advisory Committee on Medical Marijuana (ACMM) and founder and president of CAN! Research Education and Consulting. Dalotto spent a few minutes explaining to the committee why the current procedure to add qualifying conditions is broken, which is why SB 281 was introduced. It seems legislation is the only way to effectively add conditions to the Oregon Medical Marijuana Act (OMMA). Senator Boquist introduced the bill at his request.

Attorney Lee Berger, of Compassionate Oregon, was the next to speak. He also reflected on the inadequacies of the current system. He covered Nurse Ed Glick’s petition from 2005, which never made any headway and eventually died after an unfair 2009 hearing. Berger pointed out that DHS changed the rules of the hearing the day before, and had the panel stacked with people openly hostile to cannabis.

“We have exhausted all other remedies other than a legislative solution, either in this building or through the initiative process,” Berger told the committee. “And this, today, is Nurse Glick’s opportunity for a full and fair hearing before neutral and fair decision makers.”

Attorney Brian Michaels followed Berger. He spoke eloquently about the validity of PTSD and the need for veterans with PTSD to have access to medical marijuana, and for all of us to support them.

“When we talk about the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, we may have differences of opinion, [but] when we talk about supporting the troops that went to fight on our behalf, there is little difference of opinion,” Michaels told the committee.

“You’re not adding a group of people who will use marijuana, because they’re going to use it anyway,” Michaels added. “What you are doing is you are subtracting a group of Oregonians, veterans, from the list of people who will have their doors broken down, their children stolen, their property seized, their family torn asunder, and maybe go to jail for taking this medicine.”

Dr. Lester Grinspoon, Harvard University: "It's not only useful -- very useful -- for people with PTSD, but it is, among other things, the cheapest and most effective medicine" [Boston Magazine]

Dr. Lester Grinspoon, Harvard University:
“It’s not only useful — very useful — for people with PTSD, but it is, among other things, the cheapest and most effective medicine”
[Boston Magazine]

After a background and the basics of problematic procedures in the system, the testimony moved to five medical professionals with experience in PTSD treatment with medical marijuana. Their testimony was compelling, and covered almost every aspect of PTSD and marijuana. They covered recent PTSD studies, safety factor of marijuana, currently accepted pharmaceutical drugs which are used and their side effects, suicide concerns, and much more!

The first doctor to testify was former Harvard professor Dr. Lester Grinspoon, M.D., the author of Marihuana Reconsidered from 1971. One of the first modern-day M.D.’s to recognize the therapeutic value of cannabis, he phoned in from Boston and provided insights gained from his experiences and studies of more than 40 years of research.

“It’s not only useful — very useful — for people with PTSD, but it is, among other things, the cheapest and the most effective medicine,” Grinspoon said. “I think it is a big mistake to deprive people who suffer from this distressing disorder a medicine which is very, very useful, remarkably non-toxic to them, and very inexpensive.”

Dr. Frank Lucido, M.D., a family practice doctor in Berkeley, California for more than 33 years, also testified by phone. Currently treating more than 100 patients with PTSD, he has a breadth of experience with the disorder. He told the committee how cannabis helps many suffering from PTSD, especially veterans.

“…In many cases cannabis is the one medicine that’s consistently helped their seriously disabling symptoms, allowing them to function, hold jobs, keep their relationships intact, raise families for the past 30 years or so, while years of therapy and numerous medications have not,” Dr. Lucido explained.

Some of the most compelling testimony came from Bryan Krumm, CNP, a psychiatric nurse practitioner in New Mexico and an author of New Mexico’s medical marijuana law. He offered riveting testimony about PTSD and cannabis.

Bryan Krumm, CNP: "Cannabis addresses the underlying neurobiological processes directly and alleviates core symptoms of PTSD with few clinically significant adverse effects" [Sage Neuroscience Center]

Bryan Krumm, CNP:
“Cannabis addresses the underlying neurobiological processes directly and alleviates core symptoms of PTSD with few clinically significant adverse effects”
[Sage Neuroscience Center]

Tapping his experience with nearly 1,000 PTSD patients using medical cannabis at the Sage Neuroscience Center in Albuquerque, Krumm wrote a paper entitled “Cannabis and Post-traumatic Stress Disorder, The Neurobiological Approach to Treatment”, which outlines the neurobiological processes for PTSD and the importance of our endocannabinoid system and its regulation of PTSD.

“Cannabis addresses the underlying neurobiological processes directly and alleviates core symptoms of PTSD with few clinically significant adverse effects,” Krumm told the committee.

A group of veterans came next, bringing further expertise and direct experience to the hearing in often emotional testimony.

Jose Garza testified and explained how combat-related PTSD had ruined his life until he was introduced to marijuana. He explained how he got into trouble with the law, had anger management issues, and couldn’t hold down a job. Now that he has medical marijuana, he can function in society.

“Slowly I could go back to the grocery store and not completely freak out. Now I’m able to go into a store and be OK. I’m not great, but I believe in myself now,” Garza explained. “The simple act of smoking a plant has changed my life.”

Sen. Monnes Anderson, who was moved by Garza’s remarks, replied, “Thank you so much for coming, thank you for your service, and I am very glad that you have been able to find something that will give you hope in life.”

The committee was lucky enough to have Michael Krawitz phone in from New Jersey. The Executive Director of Veterans for Medical Cannabis Access, he was responsible for petitioning the Veterans Administration to allow veterans to use medical marijuana in states that have legalized its use. He focused on veterans who do not seek treatment for PTSD, due to the perception many have of the disorder and its exclusion from the acceptable ailments in Oregon.

Michael Krawitz, executive director, Veterans for Medical Cannabis Access: “...[PTSD diagnosis] creates a stigma that prevents people from seeking treatment" [Stop The Drug War]

Michael Krawitz, executive director,
Veterans for Medical Cannabis Access:
“…[PTSD diagnosis] creates a stigma that prevents people from seeking treatment”
[Stop The Drug War]

“…[PTSD diagnosis] creates a stigma that prevents people from seeking treatment,” Krawitz explained, “I’m hoping, and my colleagues are hoping, that your addition of post-traumatic stress to the Medical Marijuana Act out in Oregon will help reduce some of that stigma.”

Anthony Taylor, director of Compassionate Oregon, wrapped up the scheduled testimony. He was emotional as he explained the patients long term efforts to get PTSD added to the list of qualifying conditions.

“Its about implementing a simple fix for a group of our fellow Oregonians, and not just the veterans but for others who suffer from this disorder on a daily basis, sometimes minute to minute basis,” Taylor said. “The medical marijuana committee has been advocating its addition for over a decade as a treatment tool we should make available.”

Unscheduled testimony came at the end of the two-and-a-half-hour hearing and included more than 16 people, some with heartfelt stories of dealing with PTSD, a few Oregon activists, and many military veterans. Included were John Sajo of Voter Power, Mary Houck of Southern Oregon Cannabis Community Center, Jim Klahr from the ACMM, Anthony Johnson from the National Cannabis Coalition, Dan Koozer from Willamette NORML, and more. Many traveled a long way to testify.

A number of veterans also appeared, including a couple of Vietnam vets, and Seth Grant, a vet from Iraq. Grant gave heart wrenching testimony about how PTSD affected his life and how marijuana helps him with symptoms.

Committee Chairwoman, Sen. Laurie Monnes Anderson (D-Gresham)

Committee Chairwoman, Sen. Laurie Monnes Anderson (D-Gresham)
[Oregon Senate Democrats]

The crowd support was enormous and the testimony was very compelling. No opposition was raised, even in the form of questions from Senators.

The next step is for the committee to give the bill a “Do Pass” recommendation which advances it for further consideration in a work session and other possible committee assignments. Hopefully, this bill will make it to the floor of the legislature and pass.

Marijuana is effective on PTSD, and the facts support it — let’s hope Salem does, too.

Another important step is to correct the flawed system which makes adding new conditions to the OMMA nearly impossible and under the control of just a few bureaucrats. We need a fair and reasonable system with decision makers that understand cannabis, instead of bureaucrats that don’t.

 

Editor’s note: Keith Mansur publishes Oregon Cannabis Connectionconnecting the cannabis community across Oregon. This article is a sneak peek at a longer piece which will appear in the next issue of OCC.

 

 

 

  • KGBunny

    The testimony of all was excellent and unchallenged by naysayers versus what has been the previous norm. Perhaps “The Establishment”, OHA, has learned they have no power over us, we are damaged and will not be put into boxes or drugged to a stupor.

    Cannabis makes life livable after what we have either done, seen or was done to us; it makes the excrement of daily life bearable while we pour our blood and sweat into a job for a paycheck to look normal in society while all we can really think about is what happened. Alcohol, the legal drug of society and of choice for so many walking wounded, has ruined more than it has saved.

    Actually no Vet has been saved from their nightmares by alcohol and many of us are tired of the truly brain damaging PhARMA drugs meant to ease our discomfort and pain; too bad they don’t work for very long if at all and lead many to the end due to side affects or just plain desperation takes over and a desire to stop suffering is the only visible answer.

    Cannabis is a great savior of just about every vet that every fled reality! It is easy on the body and allows pains to be forgotten without ruining one’s liver, kidneys or brain, it allows one to concentrate on something else for at least a little while if not longer and life can be fairly normal for a long long time.

    I appreciate those that could attend and were able to speak their voices, I hope the Judiciary committee where it is headed next, is as easy to get approval to move to the Floor with a “do pass” recommendation. That would be so the next step to real freedom for a great number of human souls suffering from greater pains than the bugaboo of LEO’s nightmares, “pain” patients, those scoff laws and scallywags causing the world’s woes.

    I just hope after it is all said and done OHA obeys the Legislature and implements the law as modified with fair fees and privacy for patients. They must remember we are the fragile ones, don’t send a policeman to inspect our gardens without cause, don’t make us go to a SAP if we want to tend our own garden. Give us the right and leave us alone, we already paid the price asked of us and feel real put upon when asked for more, if you know what I mean.

  • Ed Glick

    Thank you to all who braved the legislative process, attempting to bring a little respect to the many people who, due to political manipulation and medical incompetance, have for ten years been excluded from the basic protections of the OMMA.
    Ed Glick

  • http://dcheqr.us/ Anthony Lambert

    Hrmm that has been creepy, my opinion bought ingested. Anyhow I needed to mention that it is pleasant to find out which someone else also talked about this kind of as i acquired issues locating the exact same data somewhere else. I thought this was the very first area which informed me a better solution. Thanks.

  • http://listen-med.com/ Frank Churchill

    Thanks for the sensible critique. Me & my neighbor were just preparing to do some research on this. We grabbed a book from our local library but I think I learned more from this post. I am very glad to see such great information being shared freely out there…

  • http://www.unionhospitalcareers.com/ Dylan Lambert

    Couldn? testosterone levels possibly be published any benefit. Scanning this write-up reminds me personally connected with my older room partner! This individual often kept referring to this. I most certainly will forward this post to be able to them. Fairly certain he’s going to have a very very good examine. Many thanks pertaining to expressing!

  • http://www.homecitynews.com/ Madeleine Hill

    I can view that you will be positioning a new a lot of efforts straight into your website. Hold putting up the favorable perform. Several genuinely helpful information inside. Book-marked. Wonderful to discover your site. Thank you!

  • http://www.mytlchealth.com/ Rachel Carr

    Hello, only window shopping a few weblogs, looks a fairly pleasant software you’re employing. Now i’m currently making use of WordPress for a few regarding my own web sites but seeking to modify one of these onto some sort of platform just like your own house as being a demo run. Anything especially you would advocate regarding it?

  • http://www.christianlouboutin-sale.us www.christianlouboutin-sale.us

    Saved as a favorite, I like your blog!

  • http://tmfnurse.org/ Anne Forsyth

    Considerably, this submit is actually the sweetest on this notable topic. I harmonise with your conclusions and will thirstily look ahead to your incoming updates. Saying many thanks will not just be sufficient, for the phenomenal clarity in your writing. I will specifically get your rss feed to keep informed of any updates. Admirable perform and considerably achievement in your company dealings!&nbsp Please excuse my poor English as it is not my initial tongue.

  • http://www.dhspersonalfitness.com/ Lily Carr

    Couldn? t be composed much better. Reading this write-up reminds us connected with my personal aged room companion! This individual generally kept referring to this. I’ll forwards this article to him or her. Fairly certain he’ll almost certainly have a very very good read. Appreciate it intended for discussing!

  • http://www.cuponhotel.com cupon descuento hotel

    I have been using Mint for the past couple of maonths and I absolutely love it. It sends me an email every Saturday or Sunday with the weeks spending and alerts. Great app.

  • http://www.cuponhotel.com hoteles en Londres

    Very nice and informative.It is just i was looking for.

  • http://www.hospitalhomehealth.com/ Ava Bailey

    When i idea the idea was going to become many monotonous older submit, but it surely paid out regarding the time period. I’ll post a link to this particular web page on my web site. I am certain the guests will see that will very helpful

  • http://www.mihillswebbmedical.com/ Jason Walsh

    Aw, it was a very excellent article. Theoretically Let me generate like this also : taking time period in addition to authentic energy to produce a beneficial document… but exactly what do When i point out… When i waste time a lot and don’t appear to find one thing carried out.

  • http://downtowndanville.us/ Victoria Jones

    This is a sensible blog site. I mean it. You have so a lot expertise about this situation, and so significantly enthusiasm. You also know how to make folks rally behind it, obviously from the responses. Youve acquired a style the following thats not as well flashy, but helps make a statement as huge as what youre saying. Wonderful task, in fact.

  • http://www.topseolinkbuilder.com/ Thomas Miller

    Purely, excellent everything you did in this article. It really is attractive to seem you express in the cardiovascular and your lucidity with this major content can be very easily looked. Remarkable submit and can anticipate your own long term up-date.

  • http://teenrecoveryservices.com/ Andrew North

    Great write-up. I am a normal visitor of your website and appreciate you taking the time to maintain the nice site. I’ll be a regular visitor for a long time.

  • http://wiki.donax.ch/doku.php?id=vitamins_for_weight_loss vitamins for weight loss

    Hi there mates, pleasant article and fastidious arguments commented here,
    I am in fact enjoying by these.

  • http://tech4usa.com/ Diane Hudson

    Thanx for a very informative web site. What else may I get that type of info written in such a perfect approach? I have a project that I’m just now operating on, and I’ve been at the look out for such information.

  • http://wallpapers-cats.us/profile/nijsni read full report

    Between me and my husband we’ve owned more MP3 players over the years than I can count, including Sansas, iRivers, iPods (classic & touch), the Ibiza Rhapsody, etc. But, the last few years I’ve settled down to one line of players. Why? Because I was happy to discover how well-designed and fun to use the underappreciated (and widely mocked) Zunes are.

  • Pingback: jetzt spielen

  • Pingback: Frank Lloyd Wright Designs

  • Pingback: Click here

  • Pingback: {how much atenolol should i take|atenolol lower dose|atenolol benicar side effects|atenolol detailed side effects anxiety|atenolol imprint|mechanism of action atenolol|can aspirin be taken with atenolol}

  • Pingback: Clash of clans pc

  • Pingback: zobni vsadki

  • Pingback: Indoor Activities For Toddlers

  • Pingback: background check

  • Pingback: help moppy

  • Pingback: bankid.us

  • Pingback: avs video converter

  • Pingback: Josiah

  • Pingback: Family Dentist Cary

  • Pingback: Mark Gelesis

  • Pingback: stargazer tinte online

  • Pingback: alkaline water

  • Pingback: cialis belgique 2012

  • Pingback: air duct cleaning houston

  • Pingback: Attorney 816-524-0404

  • Pingback: Party Store

  • Pingback: homepage des autors besuchen

  • Pingback: 80's Fashion

  • Pingback: guttering repair london

  • Pingback: courier insurance