DENVER -- In a state that leads the way in marijuana policy, Colorado veterans do not have access to medical marijuana to treat PTSD.
Iraq war veteran Curt Bean, is hoping to change the perception of cannabis as a treatment for PTSD. Bean served in the Army for five years, he spent half that time in Iraq over the course of two deployments.
"For me, personally, it's a big release for anxiety, a release for depression, a release for being able to sleep," said Bean.
Bean, other military vets and a survivor of sexual assault, took their fight to court back in August 2015. The Colorado Board of Health voted against adding PTSD to the list of approved conditions treated by medical marijuana.
"A lot of veterans don't think it's a real viable option for them because the state hasn't deemed it a viable option for them," said Bean.
The case is currently in front of the state court of appeals. Attorney C. Adam Foster filed an opening brief on Thursday in an attempt to reverse the decision and recognize PTSD as a qualifying medical condition.
"They lived up to their part of the bargain and sacrificed so much to keep us safe and free," said Foster. "The least that we can do in return is to make sure that they have access to appropriate care, which should include medical marijuana if their treating physician recommends it."
Bean said he didn't use marijuana until he moved to Colorado. He met other veterans like him who turned to cannabis to cope with the horrors of combat when they returned home.
"I mean, there's veterans that are dying every day because they don't have the proper resources so having these resources available to them could literally save lives," said Bean.
At least 18 other states and Washington D.C. allow the use of medical marijuana for the treatment of PTSD.