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Veterans Deserve Medical Marijuana

A soldiers salutes a higher up as he leaves service.
Photo courtesy of 807th Medical Command

Joint Opinions

Veterans Deserve Medical Marijuana

As federal patients, Veterans are being prescribed extremely addictive pharmaceuticals linked to widespread death across the country. Despite this fact, these pills remain at a lower classification within the Controlled Substances Act (CSA) than cannabis.

Cannabis has helped many people suffering from debilitating conditions such as PTSD, cancer, chronic pain, addiction withdrawal and has statistically lowered the suicide rate in states where it is “legal.” In addition, a scientific study recently published, “found that the use of prescription drugs for which marijuana could serve as a clinical alternative fell significantly. Yet, it continues to be banned.”

Veterans Health Administration (VA) primary care teams should be educated on how to best implement cannabis into a veterans treatment plan. When a patient is a legal medical cannabis card holder as well as a veteran, they should be afforded the freedom to use cannabis within the VA system as a recognized medical alternative to psychiatric drugs without any discrimination or unjust actions against them. If the federal government can provide cannabis to federally exempt patients on a monthly basis, they can supply the veterans who have fought this country’s wars.

Did you know the U.S. Government provides free cannabis to federal patients on a monthly basis? That’s right, it’s true.

The Compassionate Investigational New Drug (IND) program began in the 1970s after Robert and Alice O’Leary Randall were charged with violating the CSA when police discovered a number of marijuana plants were seized from their Washington D.C. residence. Eventually they successfully won the case, proving medical necessity. Robert became Patient Zero. After successfully negotiating our legal system, they then moved on to assist other patients who required immediate, safe, consistent access and compassionate care.

We know cannabis alleviates much of the suffering experienced by our veterans. Many report it has helped them live a more productive life, including myself. The testimonials of men and women who have benefited greatly from this plant are readily available in large and ever growing numbers.

Veterans can’t access this healing herb, but civilians can? We know the federal IND patients have been receiving cannabis paid for by taxpayer dollars. Likewise, veterans receive taxpayer funded health care at little to no cost to them. We’re denied access to cannabis because politicians and the Veterans Health Administration keep telling us it isn’t medicine, when clearly that is not the case.

The National Institutes of Health know cannabis is medicine. They’ve researched it for decades. They’ve lost in court to patients who refused to be pushed around. They’ve supplied federal patients pre-rolled, through the mail, whole plant cannabis to “special” patients every month, for over 40 years. They’ve patented isolated compounds as neuroprotectants and antioxidants. Simply put, they’ve denied us our basic human right to use cannabis.

They’ve never stopped to ask themselves why, or what’s more frightening, they know but just don’t care. Either way, there’s no excuse for veterans being denied access to this natural herb.

Do you agree? Should veterans be able to treat themselves with medical marijuana.

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