For many veterans, medical marijuana can mean the difference between being able to function normally, cope with daily stress, and handle difficult medical situations, or suffering, often in silence. There is a growing movement to convince the federal government to remove cannabis from the Schedule I substance list, and permit research into its effectiveness in treating such medical situations such as chronic pain, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), a condition many veterans deal with as a result of their time serving our country.
In early 2017, the American Legion, our nation’s largest veterans service organization, sent a letter to the White House requesting a meeting with President Donald Trump to discuss critical veterans’ issues, including suicide and opiate addiction, and asking the administration to “clear the way for clinical research in the cutting edge areas of cannabinoid receptor research”. In 2016, the Department of Veterans Affairs noted in the VA Suicide Prevention Program’s document entitled “Facts about Veteran Suicide” that an average of 20 veterans died from suicide each day in 2014.
American Legion officials stated that they are not advocating the legalization of marijuana, but rather the rescheduling of cannabis so that quantifiable, scientific medical research can be done that might support the use of marijuana in a medical environment. Officials believe there is compelling anecdotal evidence which supports the efficacy of medical marijuana in treating veterans with traumatic brain injuries (TBI), PTSD, and other medical issues.
Several groups exist that offer support to veterans in their quest to access medical marijuana for treatment. One such group is Weed for Warriors, a California-based organization which works with cannabis growers, who donate their products to the organization, and groups like the Santa Cruz Veterans Alliance, to provide veterans with medical marijuana information and access to free medicine. The Weed for Warriors Project was started in the San Francisco Bay area by a Marine veteran who found relief from disabilities connected to his military service through medical marijuana and the fellowship of other likeminded veterans within the cannabis community.
Another group supporting the call for further research into the medical use of marijuana is the non-profit organization, Veterans Cannabis Project. This organization offers education, advocacy, research support and partnerships with likeminded organizations, as well as promoting career opportunities for veterans within the growing marijuana industry. Their stated purpose is to “ensure that veterans today and in future generations can improve their quality of life through access to medical marijuana”.
With veterans representing just 7% of the American population but accounting for 20% of suicides in our nation, it is obvious to many that the various assistance and pharmaceutical prescription programs currently available for veterans are not working. Many of the drugs prescribed to treat depression and suicidal thoughts are highly addictive, and carry with them their own set of problems. The groups promoting medical marijuana as a natural, viable treatment believe it can prevent suicide and save lives by helping to restore the confidence, mental health, and ability to lead normal, healthy lives.
For recommendations on which cannabis products may be best for your situation, contact Medical Alternatives Clinic today at (719) 246-0393 in Colorado Springs, or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org with your questions, or to set up an appointment. Our MMJ doctors in Colorado Springs are here to assist you in any way we can and will provide you with a copy of any paperwork necessary for your records.