Medical Condition Petition Status

July 6th, 2012 by admin Leave a reply »

The AZ Medical Marijuana Act requires us to periodically accept petitions to add new medical conditions to the list of conditions that qualify folks for an AZ Medical Marijuana Registration Card.  In January, we accepted petitions from the public and had a public hearing in May.  Folks submitted numerous articles as a part their petitions for PTSD 1PTSD 2; Depression; Migraines; and Generalized Anxiety Disorder.   We also received lots of informal comments regarding adding PTSD; Depression; Migraines; Generalized Anxiety Disorder and General comments.

We also contracted with the U of A to review published scientific studies related to marijuana use and the petitioned conditions.  You can see the UA analyses for Depression; Generalized Anxiety Disorder; Migraine Headaches; and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) on our petition website.  Our ADHS medical team will be meeting within the next week or so and will be providing me with their analysis and recommendations.  The ultimate decision rests with me,  the Director, and I have a decision deadline in late July.

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10 comments

  1. Evelyn says:

    It frustrates me so much to hear government officials say that there’s not enough clinical evidence to prove that marijuana provides medical benefits. It’s seriously a Schedule I drug alongside heroin, even though 17 states have recognized it legally as being medically beneficial. It’s so outlandish that it seems like these government officials have been brainwashed into not being able to see the facts that have been presented to the government for several decades now.

    But it’s such a relief that Arizona is finally accepting the fact that marijuana is far less harmful than what we were all led to believe by extremist propaganda. Thank You, Mr. Will Humble, for approaching this subject rationally without bias.

  2. Steve Sturgill says:

    Mr. Humble, how come your blog was down for so long while other AZDHS blogs were just fine?

    Someone above you objecting to the content? In the absence of a better explanation, one wonders.

  3. Kristine says:

    Dr. Humble,

    I am grateful and hopeful that migraine suffers may soon have a new method of treatment. My self, I am a single mom of a child in remission of RA. I suffer from migraines COMPOUNDED by horendous sinus disease. I am currently taking 3 different prescriptions with unsatisfactory results. i still get 1 to 10 migraines days a month. (Makes it hard to try to be a productive member of society and to provide for family when all you can do is hold your head (sentence removed by editor.)

    Anyway, I fear it will be denied, but I am grateful that, for now, there is a new hope.

  4. JR Hubbard says:

    Mr. Humble,

    I’m sure I’m not the first one to say this. In fact, I’m not the first one on this thread to say this. But it is extremely frustrating to have to rely on strong medical evidence for MMJ to be useful to treat a condition, when the very fact it’s a schedule 1 drug has prevented such research here in the US from being performed, with the situation little different abroad. The fact such research doesn’t exist hardly means marijuana isn’t useful for treatment.

    I myself have suffered from migraines my entire life. And anyone who has experienced true migraines knows there isn’t a pain like one on planet earth. They’re instantly debilitating. (sentence removed by editor). Describing the intensity of the pain to someone who doesn’t suffer from them is impossible. At over 40 years of age – active years where I broke, twisted, tore, pulled, punctured, and abraded just about every part of my body – I’ve never experienced a pain that comes anywhere close to a migraine.

    Aside from ergot derivitives, which I choose not to use due to side effects, the the only thing (And I’ve tried everything) that worked for me in the past in terms of treatment – prescription or no – was plain old aspirin… only at far-above-recommended doses (and that only worked about 50% of the time when I was able to catch them early enough to stop them). Over the years I’ve now developed peptic ulcers due to this practice, so the one tool I had that worked for me somewhat is now gone. I tried enteric coated aspirin, but they didn’t work. I appears the absorption time & rate are important aspects in aspirin working, at least in my case, so enterics don’t cut it. I used to take BC (powdered, unbuffered aspirin) specifically for the purpose of getting it to work, as it was aborbed quickly and all at once. But that really did a number on my stomach.

    After a diagnosis of peptic ulcers – in an attempt to find something else to take aspirin’s place – I tried mmj. I had tried it in the past for this condition, but it initially increased the pain, so I quite trying after my first couple attempts, thinking it to be a failure.

    However, after a few more experiments brought on out of desperation, I realized that if I increased the dosing, ignoring the initial increase in pain, within 1/2 an hour the results were similar to my aspirin regimine when successful… the migraine didn’t just feel better: It was stopped in it tracks! I still had the aura, and the same ‘migraine hangover’ I’ve always had where you just don’t quite feel right for hours afterwards. But the pain & nausea was gone!!

    Since that success, I’ve repeated the results countless times. I’d say it works a little better than the aspirin did for me… it stops about 75% of my migraines. STOPS them. The other 25% of the time I’m along for the ride, but that’s still far better than anything else I’ve tried. Only having 25% of the pain & days lost is HUGE. And when it doesn’t work – after the short-lived initial increase in pain – the migraines don’t appear to be any better or worse than if I had taking nothing at all (except the intoxicating effects of mj do make the pain more tolerable).

    I too used to doubt marijuana’s effectiveness for such conditions. But I’m a believer now. A typical migraine will take me out of life an average of 48 hours each time… about a day of agonizing pain where by the end of it I’m wondering if maybe a (sentence removed by editor) isn’t the answer, followed by another day where I’m mentally & physically drained from the event. With MMJ, in the 75% or so instances where it works, I’m functioning pretty much normal in a couple hours. The benefit for me has been remarkable. But what would be even more remarkable is if I was the only one who benefited from it. I doubt that’s the case.

    I hope you strongly consider the anectodal evidence presented by those like me in conjunction with the medical evidence which unfortunately isn’t beyong reproach. I understand the delimma in doing so, but the fact is that the large body of high quality, peer-reviewd research you’re hoping to look to for guidance simply does not yet exist. Marijuana’s schedule 1 status has all but assured that. It’s a catch 22.

    But what we do know – based on real evidence – is that marijuana is one of the least acutely-toxic substances on planet earth… less so than coffee, tea, OTC medications, etc, etc. And where many claimed benefits have yet to be proven, the same could be said of the claimed detriments. Given its relatively benign nature according to what we currently do know, who exactly is being harmed by allowing those of us in real pain to use it absent of definite proof? I know one thing for certain – the aspirin I was taking harmed me significantly. The plant I’ve been consuming periodically over the course of my lifetime: has not.

    I plead with you to allow those of us in pain to find relief without being turned into criminals for doing so.

    I appreciate the time you took to read my words. Thank you very much for your attention, and all your work regarding the MMJ program. I have no doubts it’s as frustrating a topic for you as anyone else (if not moreso).

    – JRH

  5. Pamela says:

    I’ve been a researcher (hold a PhD) for many years. I looked at the review by UA and the studies were largely deemed of low quality. First, I am not aware of any medical studies in which the patients were randomly selected as opposed to self selected and this if for many reasons. Second, marijuana does not have the financial backing to undertake the large studies that are needed; pharmaceutical companies have the funds to finance such studies and often those studies are quite flawed. Third, you, i.e. DHS, have created a “catch-22″ in that until the restrictions on marijuana are removed, research will be sparse. The question is how can those studies be conducted when marijuana is still illegal? In short, you require evidence that is not realistic. Fourth, why not consider studies that show that alcohol consumption causes more problems than marijuana use. I could go on and on. Please do the right thing and give people some relief. (sentence removed by editor). There are so many problems with this process, it is shameful.

  6. JEDIMOM says:

    I currently have an AZ MMJ card for my glaucoma, but I can attest that MMJ helps alleviate what was crippling anxiety disorder. it is a TREMENDOUS aid in that regard. It also relieved my restless leg syndrome and insomnia far better than the multiple Rxs my MD has tried over the past few years.

    Hopefully the states that allow MMJ will continue to contract studies with the local universities so we can find matches between disease and MMJ strains based on studies that the folks in charge are comfortable with.

    Personally, I think God put every plant on Earth for a reason, and my own anecdotal experience as well as the presense of cannibinoid receptors in every system of the body (except respiratory, thus no ODs we know of) is a sign that cannibis can help alleviate many ailments.

    Thank you Director Humble.

  7. JEDIMOM says:

    upon reviewing the analysis by the university staff contracted by AZ DHS it appears they merely searched Dbs for studies and graded them as ‘low quality’ studies for the most part and then concluded we have no evidence.

    Oh boy.

    Since Federal Govt does nto currently approve studies for cannibis aside from those on addiction, as evidenced by the link sent out by AZ DHS to MMJ users who were willing to be part of a study such as myself, we are not going to get anywhere with the science until we get it off Schedule 1 it appears.

    Based on the comment submission in the link from Director Humble there is a very large cohort in favor of adding PTSD. I hope and pray for those suffering it is approved for that and the other ailments it relieves.

  8. Jessica says:

    Dr. Humble,

    I have, for my whole life, suffered from two of the petitioned ailments: depression and anxiety. The two seem to feed off of each other and despite being only 18 years of age, I have been sent to the hospital because of manic or suicidal episodes about five times, costing my family thousands of dollars in emergency medical expenses.
    About two years ago I was introduced to Cannabis and I can honestly say that I have found no better treatment despite being on dozens of pill cocktails that doctors have prescribed me. I now take Lithium Carbonate and Sertraline to control my Bipolar Disorder and depression but they only cut my suffering in half. Attempting to explain the emotional and mental pain I deal with on a daily basis is impossible.
    Due to the fact that I could not safely get any Cannabis off of the street I quickly turned to Spice, which was the worst thing I have ever done to myself. Spice nearly killed me and I now know that Cannabis is the best solution for my personal ailments. Being able to safely purchase marijuana and having the constant threat of law enforcement consequences taken away because I would be a patient causing no one else any harm, would greatly improve my quality of life. Which brings me to a subject I ponder everyday: Why does the government ignore the outcry from people who know that Cannabis can allow people to smile again in this often dark world?
    Thank you for reading my story and I hope to fight for this for the rest of my life until I see some positive results for all of us.

    • Will Humble says:

      Jessica,
      Thanks for your story. We collected lots of public input about the debilitation conditions in May. You can read the comments and other information about the program online.

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