By Joel Warner | Published in Denver Westword
In September, Colorado’s health department rejected the use of medical marijuana to treat post-traumatic stress disorder, a common affliction for veterans. But that doesn’t mean the military and MMJ have been divorced once and for all. Cannabis Science, a Colorado Springs marijuana pharmaceutical company, has formed a military advisory board featuring military officials to advocate for easing restrictions on injured veterans who want to use marijuana for relief.
The advisory board will be comprised of retired U.S. Army Lieutenant Colonel Kevin Sullivan and other folks who know there way around the Department of Defense, Department of Veterans Affairs, the Defense Centers of Excellence for Psychological Health and Traumatic Brain Injury and the Department of Health and Human Services.
As Sullivan noted in a release, “The military advisory board is committed to ensuring service members, veterans and families who are dealing with psychological health conditions such as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and traumatic brain injury (TBI) challenges have access to all options of quality treatments available.” According to Sullivan, cannabis has been proven to help veterans struggling with chronic and phantom limb pain, sleep disturbance, brain injuries, PTSD, anxiety and depression.
The effort is the brainchild of Cannabis Science president Robert Melamede, PhD., a University of Colorado at Colorado Springs professor and longtime proponent of the “Endocannabinoid System,” the concept that marijuana contains components that regulate many different body functions. While “Dr. Bob” has been an outspoken critic of the medical industry’s refusal to recognize pot as a medicine, going up against the military industrial complex could be a whole different ballgame.
The advisory board’s first plan of attack? Early next year, Sullivan says the group will be asking the health department to reconsider its rejection of PTSD as a condition for which medical marijuana can be recommended. While state health officials are not known to be a flexible bunch, who knows: Sullivan and his military colleagues may just have the firepower needed to state a coup.