Even with medical and recreational marijuana laws expanding in states across the U.S., military veterans still have to struggle, in many instances, to access programs, due to the continued federal prohibition of cannabis.
On a day like Memorial Day, we should definitely remember the sacrifices made by so many brave men and women who have given their lives for their fellow Americans. And since many of those who did survive returned with deep physical and psychological wounds, we have to reaffirm our commitment to the fight for safe access for all veterans.
More than 22 veterans commit suicide every day, according to advocacy groups. It doesn’t have to be this way. Cannabis has shown incredible promise in treating post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), traumatic brain injuries (TBIs), any many other conditions faced by our returning heroes.
Here are a few things of which veterans and those who love them should be aware.
VA will not pay for medical marijuana from any source. While veterans are “encouraged” to discuss cannabis use with their VA providers, they can still run the risk of losing their pain pill prescriptions when they do so. According to the VA,
VA doctors and clinical staff will record marijuana use in the veteran’s VA medical record along with its impact on the veteran’s treatment plan.
Veterans who are employees of the VA are subject to drug testing and dismissal.
Every day, veterans are prescribed dangerous and addictive pharmaceutical drugs to treat service-related injuries and illnesses.
Many of these drugs cause side effects for which another pill is prescribed. Cannabis can help treat conditions like PTSD and chronic pain, and it has a better safety profile than aspirin.
It is unacceptable that veterans are being denied access to this medicine.
The study, funded by a $2 million grant from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, is expected to greatly increase knowledge about the medical properties and uses of marijuana.
The California-based nonprofit Weed For Warriors Project, for example, has chapters across that state, as well as in Florida, New Jersey, Tennessee, D.C., and Wisconsin. WFWP educates veterans on the benefits of medical marijuana while providing free cannabis to veterans who have proof of service and a current medical marijuana authorization.
The Weed for Warriors is a grassroots organization that is attempting to help bodies plain and simple.
What occurs within our Chapters goes beyond just access to cannabis, one of the only medicines stemming the tide of suicides and overdoses in this country.
It is the camaraderie that heals and creates a tremendous safety net for all of us that is just plain lacking for too many. – Sean Kiernan, president of WFWP
Other groups helping veterans in the struggle for safe access include Grow For Vets, which has chapters in California, Colorado, Michigan, New Mexico, Nevada, Oregon, and Washington state; and the Veterans Cannabis Project (VCP), which is in the midst of a plan to expand nationwide.
Original Post: Herb
Join us at CannaDay Tampa Bay for our veterans panel. Representatives of Weed For Warriors Project, Buds 4 Vets, and Veterans United will discuss veterans issues when it comes to obtaining the medicine they deserve.
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