LITTLE ROCK. Ark. (KTHV) – While medical marijuana has been put to a halt here in Arkansas, some people are pushing to get more medical conditions approved for the drug.
The Arkansas Department of Health held a public meeting Monday to hear submissions about possibly adding bipolar disorder to the list.
The list already includes 18 conditions like cancer and Tourette Syndrome.
“I hope to see a lot of people be able to come off some of these medications and heal their bodies,” LaRee Treece said.
Treece is no stranger to bipolar disorder. Her son was diagnosed at 8 years old.
“I got another cousin that’s bipolar. It’s very dear to my heart that we get some of the medications limited and be able to try cannabis or medical marijuana to see if it will help calm them down,” she said.
Doctors prescribed her lithium to treat the condition. However, it was very toxic to his body.
“My son was on drugs for his thyroid because of lithium,” Treece said. “You have to have blood work at least every 3 to 4 months to make sure it’s not doing liver damage.”
But Treece said medical marijuana could be an effective treatment and she is now pushing for the health department to approve it.
“This is a natural medication that doesn’t have very many side effects if any besides being hungry and sleepy,” she said.
Storm Nolan with Arkansas Cannabis Industry Association said the health department first has to weigh the risks and benefits of cannabis for bipolar disorder.
“This is important because this is the first test of the Department of Health’s willingness to add additional qualifying conditions,” he said.
He said according to the Arkansas Medical Marijuana Constitution, the health department has no reason not to move forward with