Veteran says medical marijuana could help treat PTSD

3 years 6 months 2 weeks ago Tuesday, April 07 2015 Apr 7, 2015 Tuesday, April 07, 2015 11:37:24 AM CDT April 07, 2015 in News
By: Tom Kackley, KOMU 8 Reporter
loading

MOBERLY - Erik Prange lives in a small house located on the outskirts of Moberly where he enjoys connecting with nature and spending time outdoors.

It's mostly peaceful around the house, until a helicopter flies overhead.

"My trigger is helicopters because of the event I went through," Prange said. "Where I live now, I hear the medical helicopter come over all the time, and it triggers me with flashbacks."

Prange is a retired Army sergeant. He served more than seven years as a medic and licensed practical nurse, most recently in Iraq in 2009. That's when he developed the triggers for PTSD after treating a patient who was severely wounded.

Prange currently takes four different medications daily to treat his PTSD. He believes medical marijuana could help lessen the symptoms of the disease.

"They say if you do this medical marijuana and be exposed to your triggers, then it helps to lessen the effects of those triggers," Prange said.

Prange said he has struggled with PTSD every day since returning from Iraq in 2009. He attempted suicide in 2011 due to the effects of PTSD.

He is currently taking two medications that list suicidal thoughts as side effects. He said marijuana does not carry the same side effects as the other drugs.

Prange said he believes legalizing marijuana for medical use would help slow the suicide rate among U.S. veterans.

"Maybe it will save some lives," Prange said. "Lives of people who definitely deserve it because they stood up and raised their right hand and swore to protect this country."

However, opponents to medical marijuana like Council for Drug Free Youth Executive Director Joy Sweeney said she thinks medical marijuana could become too easily available if it's made legal for medical use.

"We see in California and other states where it's basically a joke," Sweeney said. "Anyone can walk in to a doctor and get a medical marijuana card because they're feeling stressed or they have anxiety or some other problem."

Sweeney also argues there is a risk that youth can find marijuana easier in states where it is legal for medicinal purposes.

"Youth are going to interpret this as a green light," Sweeney said. "Basically it stamps marijuana as a medicine and because it's a medicine, it's safe."

There is conflicting data behind Sweeney's claim.

The Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America stated:

"Eight of the top ten states with the highest percentage of past month marijuana users ages 12-17 are states with marijuana programs." 

However, a 2012 study by University of Washington found "legalization was associated with a small reduction in the rate of marijuana use among 12- through 17-year-olds" in states that had approved medical marijuana.

The University of Washington study found there was an higher existing prevalence of use among the younger population in those states before the states legalized medical marijuana.

Sweeney said she still believes marijuana is mostly unhealthy and legalizing it poses a higher risk to young people.

"Our biggest concern is that your brain is not developed until you're 25 years old," Sweeney said. "We're saying those things as a culture that we don't think marijuana is harmful to you and we know better."

Currently the Missouri House of Representatives has two bills HB 490 and HB 800 that have been introduced supporting medical marijuana legalization.

More News

Grid
List
COLUMBIA - One person was killed in a crash late Saturday night off Blackfoot Road and Parkside Drive, police said.... More >>
4 hours ago Sunday, October 21 2018 Oct 21, 2018 Sunday, October 21, 2018 12:47:00 AM CDT October 21, 2018 in News
HERMANN - One person was killed and several people were injured in a crash involving a trolley, according to the... More >>
5 hours ago Saturday, October 20 2018 Oct 20, 2018 Saturday, October 20, 2018 11:57:00 PM CDT October 20, 2018 in News
(CNN) -- President Donald Trump announced Saturday that the US is pulling out of the landmark Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty... More >>
12 hours ago Saturday, October 20 2018 Oct 20, 2018 Saturday, October 20, 2018 5:11:00 PM CDT October 20, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA – Nineteen members of Missouri Task Force One returned to Boone County Fire Protection District headquarters Saturday morning after... More >>
14 hours ago Saturday, October 20 2018 Oct 20, 2018 Saturday, October 20, 2018 3:16:00 PM CDT October 20, 2018 in News
SPRINGFIELD (AP) — A man has been criminally charged days after a woman's body was found near Fellows Lake at... More >>
15 hours ago Saturday, October 20 2018 Oct 20, 2018 Saturday, October 20, 2018 1:58:08 PM CDT October 20, 2018 in News
SPRINGFIELD (AP) — A Springfield woman who killed her live-in boyfriend with a crowbar in 2017 has been sentenced to... More >>
15 hours ago Saturday, October 20 2018 Oct 20, 2018 Saturday, October 20, 2018 1:48:36 PM CDT October 20, 2018 in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — A restored St. Louis prairie of native grasses and flowers is in bloom, but the nature... More >>
20 hours ago Saturday, October 20 2018 Oct 20, 2018 Saturday, October 20, 2018 8:50:24 AM CDT October 20, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Sen. Claire McCaskill spoke about health care in Columbia on Friday at Laborers Local 955, as part of... More >>
1 day ago Friday, October 19 2018 Oct 19, 2018 Friday, October 19, 2018 7:35:00 PM CDT October 19, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - After realizing the underrepresentation of Hispanic business owners in mid-Missouri, three Hispanic professionals established a group of 12... More >>
1 day ago Friday, October 19 2018 Oct 19, 2018 Friday, October 19, 2018 5:49:00 PM CDT October 19, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - This is the last week of the regular season and it's a cold one. Our game of... More >>
1 day ago Friday, October 19 2018 Oct 19, 2018 Friday, October 19, 2018 5:20:00 PM CDT October 19, 2018 in Friday Night Fever
COLUMBIA - Two Midwest companies issued separate food recalls this week for bacterial contamination concerns. Hy-Vee said its supplier,... More >>
1 day ago Friday, October 19 2018 Oct 19, 2018 Friday, October 19, 2018 4:53:00 PM CDT October 19, 2018 in News
CAMDEN (AP) — Toxicology tests show that a boater was drunk when he slammed into a bluff at Missouri's Lake... More >>
1 day ago Friday, October 19 2018 Oct 19, 2018 Friday, October 19, 2018 3:41:35 PM CDT October 19, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - The Legion of Black Collegians and the FourFront Marginalized Student Council held a solidarity walk Friday to show... More >>
1 day ago Friday, October 19 2018 Oct 19, 2018 Friday, October 19, 2018 3:39:00 PM CDT October 19, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - The Missouri State Medical Association (MSMA), along with multiple medical associations, reaffirmed their opposition to the three... More >>
1 day ago Friday, October 19 2018 Oct 19, 2018 Friday, October 19, 2018 2:50:00 PM CDT October 19, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - For the fourth consecutive year, Project Homeless Connect provided services Friday for people who are experiencing homelessness... More >>
1 day ago Friday, October 19 2018 Oct 19, 2018 Friday, October 19, 2018 2:39:00 PM CDT October 19, 2018 in News
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — The Mega Millions jackpot has soared to an estimated $1 billion, as the second-largest lottery... More >>
1 day ago Friday, October 19 2018 Oct 19, 2018 Friday, October 19, 2018 12:10:00 PM CDT October 19, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Police want the public's help finding a man who allegedly ran from a traffic stop after hurting... More >>
1 day ago Friday, October 19 2018 Oct 19, 2018 Friday, October 19, 2018 11:42:00 AM CDT October 19, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Two MU residence halls and an atrium were officially dedicated on Friday honoring three former MU students. Lucile... More >>
1 day ago Friday, October 19 2018 Oct 19, 2018 Friday, October 19, 2018 10:09:00 AM CDT October 19, 2018 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 32°
6am 32°
7am 31°
8am 32°
9am 37°