Medical cannabis for veterans has been a hotly debated topic for years now, even though there are numerous supporters for this cause, and research says that every 5ᵗʰ vet uses medical cannabis to help his condition.
The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs has a very strict set of rules when it comes to medical cannabis, which is to be expected since they have to follow all federal regulations, including those regarding marijuana.
Here are some of the things veterans should know about medical marijuana and the VA:
- Use or possession of marijuana is prohibited at all VA medical centers, locations, and grounds;
- VA clinicians may not recommend medical marijuana;
- Veterans who are VA employees are subject to drug testing under the terms of employment;
- VA health care providers will record marijuana use in the Veterans VA medical record.
In the pool of US service veterans conducted by The American Legion, some of the more notable stats were very surprising:
- 81% of veterans support federally-legal treatment
- 100% of respondents aged 18-30 support federally legalized medical cannabis.
- 88% of self-identified conservative respondents support federally legalized medical cannabis
- 90% of self-identified liberal respondents support federally legalized medical cannabis
It is more than obvious that partisanship does not play a role in this issue, as everyone’s mind currently seems to be on the issue of legalizing medicinal cannabis.
Medical cannabis for veterans isn’t a question
Joshua Frey, a combat Marine with two Purple Hearts spoke at an American Legion news conference in Washington on Thursday.
During this conference, he pointed out serious problems with the system and veteran’s rights when it comes down to medical cannabis.
“Without medical marijuana, I would be dead,” Joshua Frey said, “if it wasn’t for medical marijuana, I wouldn’t be here today. I wouldn’t have kids today. I wouldn’t have a beautiful wife I’ve been married to for 13 years now.”
Similarly to Frey, Boone Cutler is an Army veteran who spent two years at the Walter Reed Army Medical Center recovering from injuries which he got during his time in Baghdad.
He describes the problems veterans combat every day, such as struggling to get adequate medication for their physical and mental conditions.
“I was given just about every chemical cocktail you can imagine,” Cutler said, “When people look at that cocktail they want to know two things. One, why am I still alive and two, why isn’t somebody in prison, because it was that dangerous.”
Cutler mentioned how at several points during those two years he had suicidal thoughts, even going so far to puta gun to his own head, and completely losing his self-preservation instinct.
These stories aren’t unique, they happen every day across the United States and will keep happening as long as vets aren’t allowed to use cannabis products.
You can see and hear more first-hand experiences on the video below:
The federal government needs to put some kind of legislation in place and make the first step in showing these warriors they won’t be forgotten, and that their government will take care of them at any cost.
It is more than obvious that an overwhelming percentage of the general population, as well as veterans, are pro-legalization so the question of why nothing is happening still remains.
Read more: How can cannabis help with PTSD?