Vet Faces Jail Time for Using Marijuana as Treatment for PTSD


Whitney Phillips
Greeley Tribune
March 4, 2013

Former U.S. Navy Corpsman Jeremy Usher came home in 2003 from Iraq and Afghanistan to sleepless nights and panic attacks, with vivid flashbacks of combat, horrifying nightmares, anxiety and depression, all amid memory loss and a severe stutter.

After turning to alcohol to treat symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder, Jeremy is serving probation in Weld and Larimer counties for his second and third DUIs. He’s doing well in counseling and school, he says, but he faces jail time for using marijuana medicinally while on probation to manage his PTSD and traumatic brain injury.

Jeremy finds himself in legal limbo. Medicinal marijuana is the one treatment that’s helped him with his PTSD, but he violates his probation when he uses it, which puts him at risk of going back to jail.

“The court systems are very black and white, and PTSD is the definition of gray area,” said Jeremy, 31. “They’re not acknowledging the gray area.”

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