Cannabis And PTSD: Veterans Push For Legal Weed On Memorial Day
This year's Memorial Day will see veterans from across the country gathering in our nation's capital to not only honor those who have given their lives for this country but to also advocate for legal cannabis in the United States.
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Our nation's heroes are not usually associated with cannabis, however, veterans and weed have been linked for quite some time now. Cannabis advocates and veterans taking part in the Memorial Day Veterans Rally DC today hope to change the stigma surrounding weed as it continues to help many veterans suffering from conditions such as PTSD, chronic pain, and depression.
Cannabis has been shown as a viable alternative to dangerous and addictive prescription drugs such as opioids which can have disastrous effects and are often prescribed to veterans suffering from the aforementioned conditions.
Weed remains illegal on the federal level, meaning that only in states that have legalized it for themselves is the plant accessible. Those speaking at today's rally have traveled from as far as Alaska and Texas to add their voices to those that wish to be heard on the subject of cannabis legalization.
VA doctors are prohibited from prescribing medical cannabis to veterans in need, however, they are allowed to discuss cannabis with their patients. Veterans in legal states that have access to cannabis are able to seek it out but have to pay out of pocket for any medicine they purchase.
In 2017, the American Legion released a survey that showed that 92 percent of veteran households support further research into the potential benefits of cannabis.
Representative Phil Roe, (R-Tenn), chairman of the House Committee on Veterans affairs, argued, "it is clear that medical research into the safety and efficacy of cannabis usage for medical purposes is timely, necessary, and widely supported by the veteran community."
The Department of Veterans affairs became the first federal agency to conduct research into the potential benefits of medical cannabis earlier this month. One of the concerns associated with cannabis being illegal on the federal level is that intensive research into its effects will remain limited. More research has the potential to provide the government with further insight into the benefits of medical marijuana, should it be legalized.
This Memorial Day, veterans will share their stories about how cannabis has positively affected their lives in an effort to draw attention to the benefits cannabis can have on those suffering from a myriad of conditions.