The Daily Chronic announces an organized rally in support of MAPS’ research into medical marijuana for PTSD will take place on Wednesday, April 2 in Phoenix Arizona. The gathering is happening as a result of Senator Kimberly Yee’s opposition of HB 2333, a proposed bill that could fully provide funding for our proposed study of medical marijuana for PTSD. “Being able to treat multiple symptoms from post-traumatic stress with cannabis has been instrumental in my ability to lead a full and productive life,” said veteran Ricardo Pereyda, “Senator Yee is placing politics before science, and doing so at the expense of our combat veterans.”
Originally appearing here.
On March 10th, the bill House Bill 2333, sponsored by State Representative Ethan Orr of Tucson, passed the Arizona House 52-5, with strong bi-partisan support.
Under Arizona’s medical marijuana law, the money in the medical marijuana fund is reserved for furthering the provisions of the law and should include research and education. None of it has been spent.
H.B. 2333 would give the Arizona Department of Health Services discretion to use some of this surplus funding to study the medical benefits of marijuana.
State Senator Kimberly Yee (R-Phoenix), who chairs the Senate Education Committee, simply refused to put the bill on her committee’s agenda before the March 20th deadline.
“This bill will help a lot of people. Not just combat veterans, but people with chronic illness and pain who can’t find relief anywhere else. Whether you are for recreational use or against it, we should at least know what marijuana does. It’s research – that’s all we are trying to do,” said the bill’s sponsor, State Representative Ethan Orr.
Veterans such as Ricardo Pereyda of Tucson are angry that Senator Yee wouldn’t allow the bill to be heard in her committee. “Being able to treat multiple symptoms from post-traumatic stress with cannabis has been instrumental in my ability to lead a full and productive life,” said Pereyda, “Senator Yee is placing politics before science, and doing so at the expense of our combat veterans.” Pereyda served in the U.S. Army and Military Police Corps, and is the Veterans Liaison for Arizona NORML.
In response to this anti-democratic action by Sen. Yee, Pereyda is leading a coalition effort to bring veterans, military family members and other Arizonans who support medical marijuana research together at the Wesley Bolin Memorial Plaza on April 2nd from 5pm to 7pm.
Advocates are asking for Arizona State Senate President Andy Biggs to bring the bill to the Senate floor for a vote immediately.
Dr. Sue Sisley of the University of Arizona, who is the principal investigator of the proposed study, is also frustrated with the inaction of Senator Yee.
“Twenty-two veterans a day are killing themselves,” said Dr. Sue Sisley, “They’re not benefiting from conventional medicine. And while many are using marijuana to help them with this debilitating disorder, they want it to be legitimized. They want data. They want to know what doses to take. They want to be able to discuss this with their doctors. The Obama administration is hearing this, because allowing us to do this study does represent a major shift in policy.”