Last week the Maine legislature added posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) to the list of conditions that qualify to be treated legally with medical marijuana. Both the Senate and the House of Representatives approved the bill amending the Maine Medical Use of Marijuana Act. The law passed without requiring the signature of Governor Paul LePage.

In addition to PTSD, inflammatory bowel disease, dyskinetic and spastic movement disorders, and other diseases causing severe and persistent muscle spasms may now be treated with medical cannabis.

Maine first legalized marijuana as medicine in 1999. And in 2009 the voter-approved Maine Medical Marijuana Act expanded the original law.

Rep Elizabeth Dickerson (D-Rockland) sponsored the new bill, aptly named “An Act To Add Conditions That Qualify for Medical Marijuana Use,” at the request of numerous U.S. military veterans. It will take effect this September.

The original version of the bill proposed marijuana as treatment for a very wide range of conditions including opioid dependence. However, the Maine Medical Association objected and the bill was changed.

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