Veterans Want Easier Access to Medical Marijuana for PTSD in Del - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Veterans Want Easier Access to Medical Marijuana for PTSD in Delaware

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DOVER, Del. -- A group of veterans on Thursday demonstrated outside of Legislative Hall on Thursday, calling for Delaware lawmakers to pass a bill removing a requirement that a psychiatrist sign a recommendation on an application to treat post-traumatic stress disorder with medical marijuana.

The group of veterans laid 22 body bags---minus actual bodies---outside of the statehouse to symbolize veterans who kill themselves each day. Kim Petters, an Air Force veteran from Magnolia with the Women Veterans Coalition, said too many former and current service members are treated with potentially-addictive medication like opiates or opioids.

"I can see where some people might find this demonstration offensive, but what I find offensive is veterans committing suicide every single day  and nothing being done about it when the solution is so simple," she said.

Senate Bill 24 would allow a doctor to sign the medical marijuana application for treatment of PTSD.

The senate passed a scaled-back version of the bill after it initially failed. The legislation was amended to remove a provision that added anxiety and other conditions as being qualified for medical marijuana treatment.

Supporters said they believe the bill should passed, because it gives veterans an easier way to seek a new avenue for treatment.

"I'd rather see someone have access to marijuana than be put on some sort of narcotic or some sort of opiates," said Rep. Charles "Trey" Paradee, a Democrat from Kent County.

The bill's prime House sponsor, Rep. Paul Baumbach (D-Newark) said he intends to bring the legislation to the floor for a vote next week.

Rep. Lyndon Yearick (R-Magnolia) said he would support the current version of the legislation.

"I think it was a really broad net to be able to cast social compulsiveness or social anxiety," he said. "You know if someone suffers from those...I'm not trying to make light of it---but it was a really broad area."

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