Veterans, caregivers at Bangor event praise law allowing use of marijuana to …

October 1st, 2013 by admin Leave a reply »

BANGOR, Maine — Former U.S. Marine Sgt. Ryan Begin returned from war in Iraq without his right elbow. A roadside bomb destroyed it in 2004. Begin’s scars weren’t all visible when he returned home.

“You can’t trust anyone,” said Begin, who suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder in the wake of his service. “Any situation, all you can see is the danger.”

Even routine events like driving under an overpass or hearing a loud bang can cause a person with PTSD to shut down or react aggressively, he said.

Marijuana eases Begin’s stress, which is why the Montville resident said Maine is taking the right steps by allowing veterans and others suffering from PTSD to take advantage of the drug.

Begin and Cpl. Bryan King, a retired Marine and medical marijuana patient from Fairfield, stood alongside representatives of the Medical Marijuana Caregivers of Maine and the American Civil Liberties Union Tuesday during a press conference celebrating a change in state law that will allow doctors to prescribe medical marijuana to patients suffering from PTSD.

The law, stemming from a bill proposed by Rep. Elizabeth Dickerson, D-Rockland, goes into effect on Oct. 9. The update also will allow physicians to prescribe marijuana to patients with inflammatory bowel disease and a few other illnesses. It will take effect without Gov. Paul LePage’s signature.

“It’s a safe and effective medicine, significantly more safe than the pharmaceuticals used to treat PTSD,” King said after a press conference held on the steps of Bangor City

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