In a state where marijuana has been legalized for recreational use, one might wonder why new legislation before the Senate that would change what could be considered a debilitating or terminal condition is being considered. Washington State has separate medical marijuana and legal marijuana industries, however, so what a patient can receive is different than what a customer can purchase.

Senate Bill 5379 would classify PTSD as a debilitating condition that would qualify for a marijuana prescription. Currently HIV, MS, cancer, epilepsy, chronic pain, Crohn’s disease, and glaucoma are the only diseases which qualify for a medical marijuana prescription.

The military has a large presence in the state with several naval bases and air fields driving local economies. Soldiers would still not be allowed to smoke while serving because of the Federal laws against it. Those being honorably discharged and suffering from PTSD, however, could find refuge in WA if the bill were to pass.

Two types of antidepressants are currently approved for PTSD treatments. Lawmakers think marijuana should be a third treatment option, but not everyone is convinced.

Critics say that not only is data limited on how pot and PTSD would mix, what data there is seem to indicate that PTSD gets worse when marijuana is being used “We still don’t know what the effects on the brain are from long-term usage,” Senator Barbra Bailey [R-Oak Harbor] said. “I want to see more research.” The bills is currently under consideration.