Christopher Latona, center, and his dad Mike Latona, left, both testified in support of approving medical marijuana for PTSD at a Colorado Board of Health hearing July 15, 2015. Christopher has suffered from PTSD since returning from serving in Afghanistan. (Cyrus McCrimmon, Denver Post file)

Complaint filed against Colorado to allow medical pot for PTSD treatment

Story updated Aug. 20, 2015 at 3:31 p.m.

Several people on Wednesday filed a complaint in Denver District Court against the Colorado Board of Health’s decision in July not to add post-traumatic stress disorder to medical conditions that can be treated under the state’s medical marijuana program.

The complaint lists Curtis Bean, Larisa Bolivar, Stephen Otero, Matthew Kahl and Zach Phillips as plaintiffs in the case. They are asking that a judge overturn the board’s ruling. Several are military veterans and one is a survivor of sexual and physical abuse.

In the complaint, attorneys argue that the plaintiffs’ access to appropriate medicinal strains of marijuana has been “severely impeded” by the board’s refusal to recognize PTSD as an appropriate condition for the medical marijuana recommendations.

In July, the Colorado Board of Health said there wasn’t evidence supporting claims that pot is a viable treatment for PTSD. The vote came after the state’ chief medical officer, Dr. Larry Wolk, director of the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, recommended it for the medical condition.

Wolk had proposed several state studies on the issue and that the board could revisit medical marijuana for PTSD treatment in four years, but the board balked at that proposal.

The CDPHE and board have 21 days to file their answer, according to attorneys for the plaintiffs, so there is no hearing on the complaint set.

Carlos Illescas: 303-954-1175, or

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