LAS VEGAS (KSNV & MyNews3) -- Medical marijuana can be prescribed to treat a variety of symptoms, but it's still widely unknown if it can help veterans. Earlier this year, the state health department added post-traumatic stress disorder to the list of conditions that qualify for medical marijuana.
One veteran made it his mission to get PTSD added to that list.
Dr. David Udy petitioned state health officials to add PTSD to the list. He said his persistence paid off after just a couple of months.
Udy is confined to a wheel chair after suffering devastating effects from ragent orange, a herbicide our troops were exposed to during the Vietnam war. The physical wounds were one thing, but Udy noticed his mind had been scarred as well.
“I became isolated, I became angry, I became sedated in many ways,” Udy said.
His physical wounds allowed him to use medical marijuana in Nevada, and he felt the drug was also helping his mental struggle.
“I knew that there are tens of thousands of veterans in nevada that if PTSD was allowed as a qualifying condition that they would get their cards and they would be part of that marketplace,” he said.
Udy says many veterans self-medicate with either alcohol or drugs. He says medical treatments available can make things worse.
“They give you a series of medications of pills essentially that just dilute your life to nonexistence,” Udy said.
Udy decided to petition the state to get PTSD added to the list of conditions that qualify a patient for a medical marijuana card. He said at first he was told he'd have an answer within six months. Udy was in constant contact with the state health department and says within about two months he got this letter from the state saying they had added PTSD to the list.
Udy says it's a victory for thousands of veterans who may be able to benefit from the state's program.