Jul 272012

By Linda Kor
With Arizona’s Medical Marijuana Act still in its infancy, aspects of the law remain to be defined, includ-ing what diagnosed medical conditions qualify to receive a prescribed marijuana treatment. Will Humble, di-rector of the Arizona Department of Health Services, explained that although a voter approved list of condi-tions already qualifies patients for a medical marijuana registration card, the department is still receiving peti-tions for additional conditions to be considered.
The approved list includes chronic or debilitating diseases or medical conditions that cause severe and chronic pain, severe nausea, severe and persistent muscle spasms, wasting, or seizures, cancer, glaucoma, HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus), Hepatitis C, ALS (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis), Crohn’s disease and agitation due to Alzheimer’s’ disease.
Recently the ADHS accepted petitions from the public requesting that a number of other illnesses be added to the list. The illnesses reviewed included Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) 1, PTSD 2, depression, migraines and generalized migraines, as well as anxiety disorder.
According to Humble, after consulting with University of Arizona College of Public Health officials, who reviewed scientific studies on each illness, and careful consideration by the department, each of those petitions was declined. “I didn’t approve the petitions because of the lack of published data regarding the risks and benefits of using cannabis to treat or provide relief for the petitioned conditions,” stated Humble, adding that some of the petitioned conditions such as migraine headaches already qualify if they include severe and chronic symptoms.
The ADHS will continue to accept petitions until the end of business today (July 27) and again in January 2013 on dates yet to be announced.
For more information on the implementation of Arizona’s Medical Marijuana Act, go online to www.azdhs.gov/medicalmarijuana.