Tuesday, November 29, 2011

PTSD marijuana study for veterans stalled by feds

219 Woodside Ave.
Trenton, NJ 08618-3432

November 29, 2011

Congressman Rush Holt
1214 Longworth HOB
Washington, DC 20515

Dear Congressman Holt:

It is an outrage that veterans of the U.S. armed forces who are suffering from post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) are denied access to a clinical trial of marijuana after this trial has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

Every 80 minutes a US military veteran commits suicide, far exceeding the national average for non-veterans. A few years ago, suicide passed combat fatalities as the leading cause of death among Viet Nam veterans, now numbering over 50,000. PTSD is a factor in most of those deaths.

The FDA approved the protocol from the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies for a clinical trial using combat veterans diagnosed with PTSD which is resistant to conventional therapies. The study is designed to see if medical marijuana can have a beneficial effect on PTSD, as a great deal of evidence suggests. However, the federal government has a monopoly on the only supply of marijuana permitted to be used in medical research. On September 16, 2011, the National Institute of Drug Abuse (NIDA) refused to release the marijuana necessary for this FDA-approved clinical trial to proceed, even though the study is privately funded and would cost taxpayers nothing.

Our veterans deserve the best treatment available for their combat-related disabilities. Please help to get this research back on track.

Sincerely yours,

Ken Wolski, RN, MPA, Executive Director
Coalition for Medical Marijuana--New Jersey, Inc.

1 comment:

  1. I agree wholehartedly with Ken Wolski's letter.

    As a physician whom treats PTSD in veterans of all ages, I see the potential clinical benefit of a safe adjunct therapy that relieves troubling thoughts, including suicidal ideation, depression, alcoholism and substance abuse,anxiety disorders, sleeplessness, and other psychological symptoms of PTSD. Cannabis, while not a first line option, appears to be a potential adjunct therapy to PTSD sufferers. Furthermore, the safety anc side effect profile of medicinal cannabis compared to many 'standard' adjunct medications is often superior. The safety of cannabis is such it should no longer be a Scheduled I drug.

    What is needed for clinicians, like myself, is medical data upon the usefulness of cannabis. When confronted with a patient whom asks: "Doctor, For my PTSD, should I try marijuana?"

    All I can answer is:I suppose...but we really do not know.

    It is unconscionable that the NIDA is opposed to, and is blocking the gathering of scientific medical evidence to answer that question.

    Jeffrey S. Pollack M.D.
    Mays Landing NJ

    inflicted by the intense stress of combat.