Military veterans have served our country proudly and sacrificed a lot during their service, and the least the U.S. government can do for them is help them access a safe and proven medicine.
However, that’s not the case.
Cannabis, despite science and patient reports showing this is a very effective medicine, is not embraced by the Department of Veterans Affairs.
The Department of Veterans Affairs has actually gone as far as lying about medical cannabis research, falsely stating that the agency is restricted from researching medical cannabis’ benefits and veterans.
Some members of Congress support reforming federal cannabis laws to help military veterans access medical cannabis.
But, sadly, there are also quite a few members of Congress that oppose military veterans using cannabis as proven by a recent move made in the House of Representatives.
One public official in particular is refusing to budge.
Congressman Pete Sessions blocks medical cannabis amendment, again
United States Representative Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) had been working to introduce an amendment to legislation that would have helped suffering military veterans.
The amendment would have allowed doctors at the Department of Veterans Affairs to fill out forms for patients to become state-level (or district-level in D.C.) medical cannabis patients.
Also, the amendment would have ensured that veterans would have continued access to health benefits offered by the VA when they use cannabis in compliance with state law.
Unfortunately, the House Rules Committee led by Chairman Pete Sessions voted to block the amendment, just as they did last year.
Congressman Blumenauer responded to the move, stating:
“For the second year, Pete Sessions has shown that he does not care about the health and well-being of our veterans—who are speaking out across the country. All they want is fair and equal treatment, and the ability to consult with their own physician on all treatment options. By blocking this vote, Chairman Sessions has turned his back on our wounded warriors, commonsense, and the will of the American people. He should be ashamed.”
Studies show that cannabis can help treat PTSD
One of the most common conditions that military veterans suffer from is post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
It is estimated that 11-30% of war veterans suffer from PTSD, which is a condition that is extremely difficult to deal with.
PTSD is frequently associated with symptom clusters that can include:
- And more
When these symptoms are not effectively managed, they can completely interfere with a person’s quality of life, family, relationships, and work.
Bryan Krumm, a psychiatric nurse practitioner, works with more than 1000+ PTSD patients through New Mexico’s medical cannabis program.
“We’ve lost more active-duty troops to suicide than we have to Al Qaeda, the Taliban, and ISIS combined,” Krumm said during the 1st Cannabis Health Summit. “In my practice, cannabis has proven to be the most consistent way to rapidly decrease suicidality and to help prevent it from coming back.”
In addition to Krumm’s work, a growing body of research continues to support that cannabis is very effective at treating PTSD.
Also, more and more state medical cannabis programs have added PTSD to their list of qualifying conditions, and for good reason. Cannabis helps!
Military veterans should be allowed to enroll in medical cannabis programs in their home states without fear, or even better, get help signing up from their VA doctors.
Cannabis also helps treat pain
It is estimated that nearly one in ten military veterans suffers from severe pain, which is about a third greater than the rate for non-veterans.
An even greater number of veterans suffer from pain that may not be categorized as ‘severe’ but is still difficult to live with.
Many veterans turn to opioids and other prescription painkillers to help treat their pain, which can lead to addiction and all of the problems that come with it.
A number of studies have found that cannabis is effective in treating pain and helps reduce the need to use more harmful pharmaceuticals.
Knowing that veterans deal with pain at a greater rate than non-veterans, and also knowing that cannabis can help treat pain, why are federal politicians pushing veterans away from cannabis?
Do your part and contact your federal lawmakers and urge them to support safe access for military veterans.
It doesn’t take much time to do this and the Green Flower team is hopeful that your support will help push efforts over the top.
Let’s make a difference together!