Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is one of the unseen wounds of combat, and while it may not be physically apparent to most people, it is an injury that is just as deadly – if not even more so. The physical wounds may heal, but PTSD is something that, if left untreated (or worse, undiagnosed), may last a lifetime.
A feature on the New York Times shared a proposal from the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies in Santa Cruz, California, and a researcher at the University of Arizona College of Medicine. They are seeking federal approval to look into the potential benefits of marijuana on veterans who are suffering from chronic PTSD; should they be granted permission, it will become the first study of its kind.
Rick Doblin, founder and executive director of the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies, shared: “With so many veterans from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, there is a widely accepted need for a new treatment of PTSD… These are people whom we put in harm’s way, and we have a moral obligation to help them.”
The proposal, according to Department of Health and Human Services spokeswoman Tara Broido, is currently under review: “The production and distribution of marijuana for clinical research is carefully restricted under a number of federal laws and international commitments… Study proposals are reviewed for scientific quality and the likelihood that they will yield data on meaningful benefits.”
If and when the researchers receive the green light to proceed with they study, they will be using cannabis grown by the University of Mississippi, under contract with the National Institute of Drug Abuse. This constitutes the only marijuana allowed for use in studies with federal approval.