I am a medical marijuana patient in Oregon. While I use medical marijuana to treat arthritis, I am technically listed as a ‘severe pain’ patient. 89.9% of Oregon medical marijuana patients are listed as qualifying under that condition. Many patients qualify via two or more conditions, so the numbers are a bit skewed. A lot of other people suffer from conditions that cause severe pain, and whereas their primary condition doesn’t qualify for the medical marijuana program, the pain that it causes does qualify them for the program.
Every state should list severe pain, or chronic pain as it’s called in some medical marijuana programs, on their list of conditions that qualify a patient to become a medical marijuana patient. People often ask me what the difference is between chronic pain and severe pain. Each state lists the exact definition in their state laws, but it generally is considered to be a pain that lasts for six weeks or longer. I haven’t seen the definition in every state, so it may be slightly different, but that’s the most common definition I’ve seen. A House Committee in New Hampshire recently voted to add chronic pain to its list of qualifying conditions. Per VNews:
Medical marijuana advocates scored a win on Wednesday, as a New Hampshire House committee recommended adding chronic pain and post-traumatic stress disorder to the state’s list of qualifying conditions that can be treated with therapeutic cannabis.
The House’s Health, Human Services and Elderly Affairs Committee recommended passing a bill that would add chronic pain to the list of qualifying conditions on a 12-6 vote. The measure on PTSD passed on a much slimmer margin, 9-8.
It sounds like there was some hesitation in voting to add PTSD to the list of qualifying conditions because some politicians felt that there wasn’t enough evidence out there that marijuana effectively treats PTSD. I find that to be a bit of reefer madness, as there are a number of studies showing that marijuana does indeed help treat PTSD, and countless personal testimonies. Many military veterans suffer from PTSD, and they deserve safe access to medical marijuana, along with anyone else who suffers from PTSD. As of the end of 2016 there were 2,089 patients in New Hampshire’s medical marijuana program. The bill now goes to the House floor for a full vote.