DENVER (CBS4) – In July the Colorado Board of Health denied veterans access to medical marijuana, and now veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder are suing the state.

The board voted against adding PTSD to the list of eight other medical conditions that are approved for medicinal marijuana treatment. Board members said there was not enough research to prove that pot helps people with PTSD.

The cost to buy recreational marijuana is a lot more expensive than medical marijuana due to the taxes and sufferers say the quality is lower.

“I was a sniper in the Army, so I saw a lot of combat and I saw a lot of awful things,” veteran Curtis Bean said.

Bean suffers from PTSD from his service overseas and uses pot to treat his symptoms.

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“I have a lot of anxiety and I have problems sleeping, and that’s a thing that I’ve found that has really helped me,” Bean said. “For me it’s a no-brainer. PTSD should be included on there.”

That’s why Bean and four other PTSD patients have filed the lawsuit. They’re asking a judge to reverse the board’s decision.

“You’ve got PTSD sufferers in Colorado that need help now,” said Dr. Suzanne Sisley, a medical marijuana researcher.

Sisley is an expert witness for the lawsuit plaintiffs. She says specialized strains of marijuana that are best for treating PTSD are not available recreationally.

“It is crucial that the Board of Health add PTSD as a qualifying condition for a medical card so that these veterans and other PTSD sufferers can obtain those specialized formulations of marijuana,” Sisley said.

The Board of Health has 21-days to respond to the lawsuit complaint. A hearing has not yet been set.


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