Veterans Back Legalizing Medicinal Marijuana in American Legion Survey

Of all groups who feel hard done by in terms of the criminalization of marijuana, veterans probably top the list. This is because they are in a particularly awkward situation. While many people have their own ways of obtaining marijuana for their illnesses or recreational usage, veterans will lose their benefits if they are caught smoking marijuana or if it is detected. This has happened on a number of occasions. To make matters even worst, the alternative to marijuana at present is opioids, the killers where the death count keeps rising. By some reports opioids killed 33,000 people last year, and Trump called the situation a national crisis. Veterans are left with a hard choice between opioids or their other benefits which they need to survive, and marijuana is the best compound available for the treatment of PTSD, which veterans frequently suffer from.

Veterans for Marijuana

More than 80 percent of veteran’ssupport the legalization of medical marijuana and would want to use it as a potential treatment option, according to a national survey recently released by the American Legion.The survey also showed 92 % of veteran households’ support research into medical marijuana, including as a possible substitute for prescription opioids, which are now established to be lethal in many ways and incredibly addictive. The survey of the Legion’s two-million members was conducted by Five Corners Strategies, an independent public opinion research company, and had a margin of error of 3.43 percent. According to the Research Group “Support for medical cannabis, and research on medical cannabis is high across veterans and caregivers, all age ranges, gender, political leanings and geography”

The group is not advocating for recreational marijuana. Its aim is to remove marijuana from the list of Schedule 1 substances. Currently, marijuana is listed in the same category as heroin and cocaine, which are toxic and have no medical use. But this is not the case with marijuana, which has proven medical benefits, and which has very little side effects as well as no chemical dependency. The American Legion is the largest veteran organization in the USA and has frequently pushed for medical marijuana.

America veterans are currently governed by the Veterans Association. This is a governmental body which is responsible for “looking after” the war veterans. But this does not actually mean that it has their best interests at heart. The Veterans Association refuses to allow its doctors to recommend marijuana to its veterans, on the basis that it is illegal to do so. The VA is stating that because marijuana is an illegal drug at the Federal level, its doctors are not allowed to recommend it to patients.  But this is actually false. Doctors are prevented from prescribing marijuana to patients, as prescription is a Federal process. However, the common work around is to get doctors to recommend marijuana who then get a license and go to a medical marijuana dispensary to get the order fulfilled. The stark reality is that ulterior motives are at play and for some unknown reason the VA does not want medical marijuana being given to US veterans.

A Greener Future

While the refusal to grant medical marijuana to veterans might seem cruel, unjust and downright illogical, there may be light at the end of the tunnel. 10 US house members recently began pushing the Trump administration to begin researching the potential of marijuana for army veterans. Of course, everybody is aware that marijuana is superb at the treatment of a wide variety of symptoms and that there is already a plethora of research on the topic, but at least it’s a step in the right direction, even if pointless. It’s an indication that marijuana for veterans might be a reality sometime in the near future. Unfortunately, the VA is the department responsible for conducting such research, and they are not exactly veteran friendly. The VA has actually stopped federally approved researchers from recruiting veterans for research on medical marijuana. In other words, they are not the type of organization that you want to figurehead an allegedly independent scientific experiment, as they are supremely biased. One such study on marijuana’s effects on PTSD has been prevented from reaching veterans at the VA hospital in Phoenix.

It is not known exactly why the VA is so anti veteran. However, VA secretary David Shulkin is definitely one of the leading figures bent on ensuring no life supporting medical marijuana makes its way to sick army veterans. He has been brazen enough to make the claim that there are no proven benefits to marijuana, and made the false claim that he does not have the power to expand research into medical marijuana for veterans (though it is not needed – If it is proven effective for humans by lots of scientific studies, veterans do form a subcategory). Meanwhile, VA doctors continue to hand out opioid prescriptions, and the death count keeps rising.

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