Will Humble, the Health Services Director in the state of Arizona, has said no to expanding his state's medical marijuana program to 4 more medical conditions. His announcement came in the form of a blog on the Health Services website Thursday evening.
Humble has said no to using marijuana for the following 4 conditions: post-traumatic stress disorder, migraines, anxiety and depression. His ruling comes on the heels of a report given to him Tuesday by medical officials in the Arizona Department of Health Services which said there is insufficient evidence using medical marijuana is helpful for these conditions.
There were public hearings in May and citizens gave testimony that the drug helped them with the petitioned conditions, but that wasn't enough for the health services. "We acknowledge there is anecdotal evidence that using marijuana has helped patients," the report said in part. "But there's no way to exclude the possibility that the improvement is due solely to placebo."
Similarly, on Humble's blog announcing his decision he wrote that: "I didn’t approve the petitions because of the lack of published data regarding the risks and benefits of using Cannabis to treat or provide relief for the petitioned conditions."
Arizona: Request to expand medical marijuana program
It was the first time since medical marijuana was passed into law in the state four years ago that requests to expand the program beyond usage for AIDS, cancer, chronic pain, glaucoma, hepatitis C and muscle spasms had been sought. The request to expand the medical marijuana program came collectively from health care providers, veterans and other health practitioner groups.
The report to Humble which did not back the expanded usage was influenced by a University of Arizona study, funded by the Arizona Health Services, which found that medical marijuana had little or no benefit when used for those four conditions. That study was simply a look at other studies, however, and the state acknowledged more studies need to be done.