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Tag: PTSD

Why Veterans With PTSD Are Turning To Cannabis

Posted in Journalism, and The Establishment

When Dr. Sue Sisley, a lifelong Republican, was just beginning her residency at the Veterans Affairs hospital in Phoenix, she refused to believe her patients when they told her about the healing potential of cannabis.

“I’ve always been interested in cannabis as a social justice issue and a matter of public policy, but I was never able to embrace it as medicine until these veterans really taught me how,” Sisley told me.

Sisley was “highly dismissive and judgmental” of marijuana at first but, over time, as more and more veterans shared their experiences, she started to accept its therapeutic potential.

Now, not only does she regularly treat multiple conditions by prescribing legal medical cannabis as an Arizona-based family physician, she’s part of a team involved in the first government-funded study to examine the effectiveness of cannabis in treating post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in vets.

American Legion Asks Congress To Reschedule Cannabis As Vets Continue To Suffer Under War On Drugs

Posted in Journalism, and MintPress News

The American Legion has called on the U.S. government to reconsider its stance on medical cannabis in order to benefit some of the millions of veterans the organization represents.

With a membership of about 2.4 million veterans, the Legion’s become a powerful voice in the growing debate over the potential benefits of the plant to victims of post-traumatic stress disorder, traumatic brain injuries, and a host of other conditions that veterans frequently face.

The Legion passed a resolution at its annual convention, which ran from Aug. 30 to Sept. 1 in Cincinnati, Ohio, urging Congress to reschedule marijuana. The resolution reads, in part:

Army Vet Faces Felony For Helping Other Veterans Treat PTSD With Cannabis (Updated)

Posted in Journalism, and MintPress News

Even though more states are legalizing medical marijuana, and federal officials have claimed that the prosecution of pot smokers is no longer a priority, the “war on drugs” continues to destroy the lives of Americans suffering from dire medical conditions.

Sean Kiernan is a U.S. Army veteran from Rancho Santa Fe, California, who, along with his wife, pleaded guilty earlier this year to felony charges related to growing marijuana for other veterans.

Kiernan attempted suicide in 2011, nearly becoming part of a horrifying statistic: Although the figure is disputed, some estimates suggest that an average of 22 veterans commit suicide each day. Still struggling two years later, Kiernan was involuntarily committed by officials at a Veterans Affairs hospital, an experience which he says led him to embrace the benefits of cannabis over pharmaceutical drugs.

Despite Support By Experts, Marijuana Still Unavailable To Most Veterans With PTSD

Posted in Journalism, and MintPress News

Thousands of American veterans suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder, and they’re forced to endure the side effects of pharmaceutical drugs while an effective treatment with few side effects, medical marijuana, remains illegal and inaccessible to most.

A 2012 study from the Veterans Administration estimated that as much as 20 percent of veterans of conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan suffer from PTSD. Among these veterans, the suicide rate is 50 percent higher than the national average and PTSD is a major contributing factor, according to a 2015 study by the National Institute of Mental Health. Nick Wing and Matt Ferner, writing in The Huffington Post, suggested VA doctors typically treat veterans with a combination of therapy and a selection of dozens of pharmaceutical drugs approved for the treatment of the often debilitating condition. Missing from that list, according to their report, is one particular treatment that’s made a difference in many lives: cannabis.

“[T]the government classifies marijuana as a Schedule I drug with no medical value and explicitly prohibits VA doctors from recommending marijuana,” Wing and Ferner wrote last month. The federal scheduling system is meant to classify dangerous drugs by weighing their risks versus their potential benefit to humanity. Under this system, marijuana, which studies have repeatedly demonstrated to be relatively safe and carry almost no risk of addiction, is considered more dangerous than heroin or amphetamines.

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