(Photo by Flickr user Abel Jesus)
The legalization of marijuana, both medical and recreational, is currently a hot button issue in Delaware government. On Thursday, the state Senate passed a revised bill that would add to the list of conditions that make a person eligible to receive medical marijuana.
Senate Bill 24, introduced in March, stated that anxiety — generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder and social anxiety — would be added to the list of debilitating conditions that qualify for medical marijuana. That provision was nixed from the revised bill that just passed. The bill would also eliminate the requirement that only a licensed psychiatrist has the authority to sign a patient’s application.
According to the state’s Medical Marijuana Program website, doctors can prescribe medical marijuana to treat symptoms caused by “terminal illness, cancer, multiple sclerosis, HIV and AIDS, agitation of Alzheimer’s disease, autism with aggressive or self-injurious behavior, intractable epilepsy or the physical manifestations of post-traumatic stress disorder.”
This decision, which passed by a unanimous vote, came just two days after the senate vetoed the original version of the bill, in a very unorthodox way. Although just one member voted against the Senate Bill 24, ten members chose not to vote, resulting in the bill’s failure.
According to reports, members chose not to vote on the original bill, because while they were in favor of allowing general physicians to prescribe medical marijuana to people suffering from PTSD, they had some concerns with the part of the bill that would name anxiety as a qualifying condition. Some believe marijuana will not alleviate anxiety, but that it will increase it.
“We have our physicians right here who have taken a look at the science and have raised concerns,” Senator Stephanie Hansen told The News Journal.
The addition of anxiety as a qualifying condition was taken out of the revised bill. The new version only removes the requirement of a psychiatrist signing the certification.