NYS Senate bill proposes marijuana as potential treatment for PTSD

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Medical marijuana may soon have a new use. A bill that just passed the state senate health committee seeks to expand marijuana use for those suffering from post traumatic stress disorder.

“All the tools available to use for the clinicians and the licensed therapists and the physicians that can help make them better and able to cope is really important to us and our veterans,” said Patricia Marks, with the Veteran’s Outreach Center in Rochester. 

At the VOC, they say they’re open to anything that could help ease veterans’ suffering.

“I think if people have tried other things and aren’t finding success, maybe we can connect with other agencies or medical professionals to help them make their life enjoyable,” said Grace Docherty, a creative arts therapist for the VOC. 

Veterans aren’t in this alone though, at the Willow Center for Domestic Violence, president and C.E.O., Jaime Saunders, says  victims of domestic violence also have a higher instance of suffering from  post traumatic stress disorder, similar to combat veterans.

“With PTSD it is caused by these traumatic events and we’ve seen that through studies where survivors of domestic violence actually show the same signs of our veterans in combat, it’s just combat in the home,” said Saunders. 

Therapists say PTSD can be difficult to treat, and requires some creativity and catering to the individual to find what works for them. Whether caused by trauma from combat or domestic violence though, advocates for PTSD sufferers feel the same way. 

“We need to help support each survivor on their own path so if this bill will help them great, and if they choose not to, we empower them with choice along their journey,” said Saunders. 

Link to the proposed bill: 


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