Veterans Affairs Continues to Forbid Doctors to Recommend Medical Marijuana to PTSD Patients

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                                                     

MARCH 4, 2010

Veterans Affairs Continues to Forbid Doctors to Recommend Medical Marijuana to PTSD Patients

VA refuses to recognize marijuana as an effective medicine, proven to relieve PTSD symptoms suffered by the men and women who defend our nation

CONTACT: Kurt A. Gardinier, MPP director of communications …………… 202-215-4205 or 202-905-0738

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Despite widespread evidence showing medical marijuana to be a safe and effective treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs forbids all VA doctors from recommending medical marijuana to veterans, even in the 14 states where medical marijuana is legal.

         The VA policy is based on advice from the Drug Enforcement Administration, which has long-supported keeping marijuana in the Schedule I classification reserved for substances with no accepted medical use, placing it alongside substances like heroin and LSD. A 2008 study by the RAND Corporation showed that 20 percent of soldiers returning home from Iraq and Afghanistan suffer from PTSD. A 2007 study in the Journal of Traumatic Stress found that marijuana can be an effective treatment for severe PTSD symptoms.

         In New Mexico, PTSD is the most common affliction treated among those enrolled in the state’s medical marijuana program, according to the New Mexico Dept. of Health. One such patient is Army Veteran Paul Culkin, who served in Iraq as a staff sergeant with the Army’s bomb squad and now heads the New Mexico Medical Marijuana Patient’s Group.

         “As a country, we are committed to providing the best equipment and weapons to our servicemen and women on the battlefield. Similarly, our soldiers should be offered the best and most effective medical treatments when we return home, but this is simply not the case,” Culkin stated. “Marijuana is a proven and legitimate medicine and the VA needs to start listening to the scientific facts.”

         According to University of Albany clinical psychologist Dr. Mitch Earleywine, “It is an outrage that the men and women who risk their lives keeping us free are now forced to risk their own freedom to obtain a medicine they feel works best to treat their PTSD. Marijuana can be an effective medicine for some key symptoms of PTSD. There is no question that our country’s bravest should have safe access to it.”

         To set up an interview with Paul Culkin or Mitch Earleywine contact Kurt A. Gardinier at 202-215-4205.

         With more than 124,000 members and subscribers nationwide, the Marijuana Policy Project is the largest marijuana policy reform organization in the United States. MPP believes that the best way to minimize the harm associated with marijuana is to regulate marijuana in a manner similar to alcohol. For more information, please visit www.mpp.org.

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DdC's picture

Veteran Hopes for Legalization of Med Marijuana

Veteran Hopes for Legalization of Med Marijuana By Michael Barrett
CN Source: Gaston Gazette March 15, 2010 North Carolina
When a seizure strikes, Joshua Cook typically hits the ground. His hands clench spastically into fists. His torso contorts. His body shakes uncontrollably for several minutes. The condition first struck the 25-year-old National Guard veteran while he was serving in Iraq three years ago. After receiving a medical discharge, he was prescribed a slew of drugs that either made him sick, caused headaches or simply didn’t prevent his convulsions.

The Obama Admin's Anti-Marijuana Manifesto (thread)

Multiple DEA Raids Target Marijuana in Hawaii

“Marijuana is dangerous and has no medicinal benefit.”
— White House drug czar Gil Kerlikowske,
7/09 Fresno, Calif. press conference

DdC's picture

Enough!

Ganja 4 PTSD & Depression
300000 Iraq & Afghan Vets Suffer PTSD & Depression

And the bewildered herd is still believing
Everything we’ve been told from our birth
Hell they won’t lie to me
Not on my own damn TV
But how much is a liars word worth
And whatever happened to peace on earth
~Willie Nelson

Many Veterans are the Enemy in the D.E.A.th War

Sam Stone came home, To his wife and family After serving in the conflict overseas. And the time that he served, Had shattered all his nerves, And left a little shrapnel in his knee. But the morphine eased the pain, And the grass grew round his brain, And gave him all the confidence he lacked, With a Purple Heart and a monkey on his back...

Sam Stone's welcome home Didn't last too long. He went to work when he'd spent his last dime And Sammy took to stealing When he got that empty feeling For a hundred dollar habit without overtime. And the gold rolled through his veins Like a thousand railroad trains, And eased his mind in the hours that he chose, While the kids ran around wearin' other peoples' clothes...

Sam Stone was alone When he popped his last balloon Climbing walls while sitting in a chair Well, he played his last request While the room smelled just like D.E.A.th With an overdose hovering in the air But life had lost its fun And there was nothing to be done But trade his house that he bought on the G.I. Bill For a flag draped casket on a local heroes' hill...

There's a hole in daddy's arm where all the money goes, Jesus Christ died for nothin' I suppose. Little pitchers have big ears, Don't stop to count the years, Sweet songs never last too long on broken radios. Mmmmm....


VMMA

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