Memorial Day 2015 and Medical Marijuana

Along with family picnics and public concerts, as a country we wear poppies and decorate the graves of the fallen on the last Monday in May to honor our soldiers who have died while serving in the military. It is a holiday to remember their great sacrifices to protect our country, our citizens, and our way of life.

As we pause to celebrate Memorial Day this year, it also gives us an occasion to consider the sacrifices made by all those who have served, including the tens of thousands of veterans living with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and other emotional problems resulting from their service to our country.

While additional placebo-controlled research is needed to reconfirm the benefits of medical marijuana in reducing PTSD symptoms, existing research, along with anecdotal accounts from large numbers of PTSD sufferers, is sufficient today to justify its recommendation by physicians. Many combat veterans suffering from PTSD rely on cannabis to control their anger, nightmares and sometimes-violent rage.

Currently, those physicians affiliated with the US Department of Veterans Affairs may not legally recommend the use of medical marijuana to those veterans who could benefit from it use, even in states that have legalized the medical use. But that finally appears to be changing.

Offered as an amendment to a veterans affairs and military construction bill, a provision to expand medical marijuana coverage to US veterans was approved this week by the Senate Appropriations Committee, assuring it will be included in the version of the bill that will be sent shortly to the full senate for consideration. A similar amendment to a House military appropriations bill recently failed by only three votes on the floor of the House (210-213), setting up the need for a reconciliation process between the House and Senate versions of the appropriations bill, and the likelihood of the amendment being included in the final version of the bill approved by Congress.

While this most recent progress in Congress to approve the medical use of marijuana as a treatment option for VA physicians treating veterans is promising, it is but one small step in a longer process that must continue forward before marijuana is recognized under federal law as a valuable therapeutic agent for many conditions and illnesses.

But on this Memorial Day 2015, let’s honor our military men and women who have given the ultimate sacrifice, as well as those surviving veterans who have served their country with distinction, by committing ourselves to assuring that all Americans, and especially our veterans, have access to whatever therapies treat their symptoms and conditions most effectively and help them heal, including the option of medical marijuana; and by removing the remaining governmental obstacles that undermine this noble goal and interfere with the physician-patient relationship.

22 thoughts

  1. As a veteran who has PTSD, I can say with absolute certainty that marijuana has helped me to the extent that I am not dead. I probably would have killed myself by now without it. It is outrageous that people like Chris Christie and Jeb Bush would not only deny me this valuable medicine but actually advocate for continuing to lock people up if they choose to use it for any reason…

    Our Senators, Congressmen, Governors, and the President of the US all need to listen to the thousands of us that have been greatly helped by the plant they have all helped to demonize!

    Thank God for the internet which is the only reason we have information regarding cannabis beyond the 1930s propaganda machine some of them still, apparently, regard as the gospel truth… Idiots!!!

  2. Let’s honor all of the victims of The War on (some) Drugs.

    They are casualties too!

    Does anyone suppose being locked in a cage for years on end might also cause P.T.S.D.?…and other “emotional problems”?

  3. “…by committing ourselves to assuring that all Americans, and especially our veterans, have access to whatever therapies treat their symptoms and conditions most effectively and help them heal, including the option of medical marijuana; and by removing the remaining governmental obstacles that undermine this noble goal and interfere with the physician-patient relationship.”

    Sure sound good to me.

  4. Yes Keith let’s honor all our vets and current enlistees. We live in the land of the free, so let’s do the right thing and legalize! The real sad point is the $ hungry leaches that take advantage of all of us. Just like hemp, easy , renewable crop that never fails to impress.

  5. Why people can successfully decide anything to have to do with another person without that person making his own decision on the manner is downright despicable an UnJust.
    And it still boggles my mind that Although, there are law’s. That still someone other than oneself still decide’s your a criminal for dispensing any amount of an thc to yourself.
    OMGosh the Crime, the Money, the terrible issue’s we can create, Now that’s Totally Insane.
    And Where will it ever stop… Ding
    Oh
    Legalization who would’ve ever thought

  6. @vickia52 – The land of the free is a myth. It was an ideal that the founders of this country strived for. Unfortunately, many of our current leaders seem to be totally corrupt and strive to take away our freedoms. They make laws that make no sense in order to control us.

    I hope, before I die, that we can be a free country but I’m not holding my breath…

    Our leaders have made us the laughingstock of the world by having the highest incarceration rate in the world. The reason is not because we have the most criminal population in the world, it is because the rich and corrupt profit from it with their nonsensical laws.

  7. 17 U.S. Soldiers per day committ suicide from symptoms of PTSD treatable with %75 efficiency through the consumption of marijuana.

    Call the staff members of your Senators and Congressman. Speak only from the heart. It truly makes a difference.

    Why isn ‘t Dr. Sisley’s 20 years of Research on PTSD accepted by the FDA? Is it perhaps because Arizona’s attorney general threatened the University of Arizona before she could reach approval? “Anecdotal” my @$$, we owe our veterans the right to choose life over a prescription of VA narcotic overdose!

    Read the testimony of Sgt. Begin which Judge Mueller accepted as admissible evidence! U.S. Drug Policy is killing our veterans with a cocktail of opiate addiction while marijuana remains subject to incarceration! Let your Congressman know this American dishonor must end now!

  8. Well today we all got a message on our main Web site about Marijuana use is still a violation of employment. Rec or medical government employees still are forbidden to use. aren’t the military Federal employees? What the F, we shouldn’t have a pain relief or be able to sleep at night. This is just wrong I can’t wait to retire. Not that I want to use anything at work but it would be nice to smoke at home I don’t drink and I don’t sleep well

  9. Thank you, Keith! I hope that the Congress actually keeps taking these baby steps and passes this legislation. The war hawks are all gung-ho when it comes to sending us off somewhere, but then they underfund the VA and won’t let us have our medicine. As long as they’ve filled their pockets with the spoils of war, then forget about us.

    Now, I’m looking forward to the next national holiday, 4th of July, and that is also when lots of folks take their vacations, which brings me to Alaska and Oregon. Since it’s a shame that there are no Amsterdam-style koffieshops allowed in Colorado, there was some talk of Alaska allowing them. I’m not sure if Oregon was going to tweak things to allow cannabis coffeeshops where you could buy the stuff there and then smoke it, vape it, or just plain old take-out. Day clubs, if it’s club memberships only, really sucks.

    Any rumors going around inside the beltway about the feds allowing cannabis banking and getting the IRS dawgz off our backs? Once Oregon and Alaska get up to speed, there’s even more pressure on the feds to change their evil ways and stop persecuting the cannabis community.

    Once other states see the legal states raking in ca$h and the obstacles the feds put up are no longer there, I am hoping that other states will jump on the cannabi$ ca$h money train and will up an legalize all the quicker, and a lot more of them at a time. All up$ide, down$ide gone!

    Kaching!

  10. If marijuana anecdotally helps veterans with PTSD, then cannabis will also, and provide more opportunities to help them move forward.

    To return the control of cannabis to the veterans, and in a way that actually shows respect for the Constitution, sign the
    petition.

    http://wh.gov/iBhYU

    This year is a good time to take action.

  11. I notice in HuffPost that SAM is calling for more medical research. Congress will look even more asinine if they don’t pull cannabis from its current Schedule I status. The cat is out of the back because now people everywhere know that cannabis helps kids with epilepsy. And, that is the crack in the dike of prohibition beyond what a finger can plug up. People are questioning and doubting the prohibitionist claims that it has no medical value, or should I say no recognized medical use, the operative being recognized by the governmental apparatus. The people recognize it, and now more and more people, schooled by the Dr. Gupta and others, now have the idea floating around in their heads that cannabis can indeed be helpful for other things beyond what the high CBD strains can do for treating epilepsy and seizures.

    The source link:

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/05/28/project-sam-medical-marijuana-research_n_7461164.html

    I read the article in Cannabis Culture about the judge in Florida clearing the way. There are other states that have passed those high CBD medical cannabis laws.

    I read the article at Hemp.org about the mom in South Carolina using hemp to make the low THC high CBD cannabis oil.

    I am wondering how much hemp she is growing at her undisclosed location. Methinks industrial hemp is bred to be low in THC and doesn’t have as high a number of trichomes like those indica strains that are all frosty. Yummmy! She’s probably not growing any mind-bending sativas from her industrial hempseed.

    If you had more people other than the government monopoly at UMiss you’d have a bunch of strains developed that are really frosty and basically high CBD strains, a selection beyond your basic Charlotte’s Web.

    Source link:

    http://hemp.org/news/category/cannabis/south-carolina

  12. ALCOHOL IS WORSE, CAUSES VOMITING, PERMANENT DEPENDENCE,LIVER PROBLEMS,ABSENCE FROM WORK, ENDANGERMENT TO OTHERS AROUND YOU, TEMPERS, DIVORCES FAMILY ARGUMENTS, CAR WRECKS,ETC., WHILE SMOKING A LITTLE WEED HELPS EYESIGHT DISEASES, DEPRESSION, PAIN AND CANCER PATIENTS TREATMENTS PLUS EATING DISORDERS. THEY SHOULD HAVE ABOLISHED ALCOHOL NOT MARRIUANNA. THERE IS ABUSE OF EVERYTHING,YOU CAN GET SICK FROM EATING TOO MUCH CAKE SO,THERE SHOULD BE AN AGE LIMIT ON THE USE OF GRASS. YOU CAN NOT WORK AND USE ANY DRUGS, THEY ALTER YOUR REALITY AND ENDANGER BY 30 PER CENT THE OTHER WORKERS WITH YOU. DO NOT DRIVE WITH EITHER DRUG”’

  13. @The Oracle – “Congress will look even more asinine…”

    Seriously, I am not at all sure that is possible!

  14. Cannabis will not carry the deathrate science has applied to alcohol and nicotine, prescribed medication overdoses and misuses, and institutionalized brutality inherent in long term incarceration of non violent prisoners/martyrs. De-schedule cannabis and reform law enforcement institutionalized theft of anything of value.

  15. @ Don M. Touché!

    Heard some scaremongering today on KYW News Radio in Philadelphia, reporting consumption of alcohol raises the amount of THC in the blood, to be used somehow in crafting drugged driving legislation.

    Haven’t booked vacation yet because waiting to see if Alaska will allow locals and tourists alike to consume vape, smoke, whatever in cannabis coffee shops and the like, if they are tourist friendly in that way, something Colorado and the other states haven’t done yet, public pressure or politicians dragging their feet, haven’t figured out which is is yet

  16. I’m 58 years old; from the time that I was a young man, during the Regan administration I’ve dreamed of legalization. Thanks so very much Norml.This is our time!

  17. I’m a 52 yr old man who started getting gout at 33 ( not good) ive had conic gout since. Had to give up beer bout 3 yrs ago. So couple yrs ago a co worker ask me if id tried any good pot so to make a long story short I haven’t had gout since am I on to something? Keep up hard work

  18. Surely the worst of all psychoses is the condition of having been intentionally professionally trained to react to commands or appearances with rage and anger and attack and kill alleged “enemies”, “commies”, claypigeon or elk (in whatever order).

    And apparently the US govt has not provided a commensurate psychiatry service to help such a sufferer later erase that training (hint: try one (1) 25-mg single toke with a flexdrawtube one-hitter and learn some INTERESTING handwork) so there is the danger (especially unless cannabis replaces alcohol!) of anger-rage burstouts, challenges to a hatefight, 10,008 more murders a year etc.

    @Judy 5/26– I agree with everything except one minor point, “laughingstock of the world (for incarceration rate)”– I think you mean “Whippingstick!” History theory: PUNISHMENT has been the ruling Obsession of this temporary Amerikkka version of Ameriwa country because it is used to protect the $lave $ystems which gave a landed minority autocratic rights and wealth while others boiled and toiled. Punishment grade 1: if you failed to obey, a beating; grade two: if you tried to flee, extra-hard beating, imprisonment etc.; grade 3: (Death) to anyone who tried to help free a $lave. That was Negro $lavery, modern equivalent is Nicotine $lavery:

    Punishment grade 1 is the withdrawal malaise if you don’t have another $igarette in 48 minutes;

    Punishment grade 2: if “caught (by school, cop or parent) possessing Pot”: warning, arrest, court, criminal record, blacklisting, low-wage poverty, child-neglect, broken families etc.

    punishment grade 3, if you furnish cannabis, or import or transport cannabis to furnish to anyone (particularly youngsters interested in learning how to use it INSTEAD OF $igarettes, alcohol etc.): many years HARD TIME in militaristic corporate jails (like Mr. Mizanskey in Missouri, LOBBY FOR HIM EVERYONE NOW PLEASE.

    As recognition of cannabis medicinal efficacy reaches Congress, a side-benefit of immense impoertance is going to be the increased effort to research out new efficacious strains of basil, marjoram, OREGANO, rosemary, sage, savory and thyme. The sudden discovery– or grower achievement?– of Salvia divinorum, diviners’ sage, in the last 10 years or so (co-terminous with the E-cig and modern vaporizers) may portend there will someday soon be almost as many glorious strains of that as of cannabis today.

    Look up “Basil– King of Herbs” to find many articles on Ocimum basilicum, and an India-centered strain named O. sanctum or Tulsi Rama (“Holy Basil”). What if tests are developed to analyze dried occulted old basil leaf from 4000 years ago to discover what now-forgotten cultivars have been ingeniously developed centuries ago by brilliant but very local gardeners whose verbal or written testimony has not survived.

    Guess what– at times, including in parts of medieval Europe, basil was demonized and prohibited– just like our cannaberb today! Growers used to curse and utter hateful invective when planting it in order to makedit grow better.

    That may remind us as to modern cannabis prohibition and hatefearteasing, “This Tooo $hall Pa$$.”

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