Veterans Deserve Accessible Cannabis More than Most
It’s Veterans Day, when we honor those who have served the US Forces during peacetime and war. It’s an important holiday, steeped in tradition and federally recognized, unlike say, marijuana legalization.
Our Veterans are important to us. We do hear the stories of VA inadequacies, a senate who cuts VA spending, the homeless veteran population (decreasing every year but still an issue), and tragically, the difficulty for veterans in accessing mental health care.
Veteran’s who have been in combat have a higher likelihood for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and statistics show that about 1 in 5 military personnel deployed in Iraq and Afghanistan suffer from it.
From the US Department of Veteran Affairs:
- Operations Iraqi Freedom (OIF) and Enduring Freedom (OEF): About 11-20 out of every 100 Veterans (or between 11-20%) who served in OIF or OEF have PTSD in a given year.
- Gulf War (Desert Storm): About 12 out of every 100 Gulf War Veterans (or 12%) have PTSD in a given year.
- Vietnam War: About 15 out of every 100 Vietnam Veterans (or 15%) were currently diagnosed with PTSD at the time of the most recent study in the late 1980s, the National Vietnam Veterans Readjustment Study (NVVRS). It is estimated that about 30 out of every 100 (or 30%) of Vietnam Veterans have had PTSD in their lifetime
Veterans in the 27 states where medical marijuana is still a crime are commonly prescribed antipsychotics and antidepressants, medications that are ineffective in treating PTSD and leave once strong soldiers falling asleep in their chairs.
As someone suffering from a lifelong depressive disorder and anxiety, I can say emphatically that cannabis has had a dramatic positive impact on my mental health. How grateful I am that I have the choice to supplement my SSRIs with something that gives me immediate relief. It discourages me that not all American’s have that same choice, especially the American’s who need it most.
This Veterans Day I encourage you to consider the myriad of reasons one might use marijuana and to hold your judgement until… forever. Marijuana, despite what some jerk told you in 1983, has been proven to effectively treat, relieve symptoms of, or slow down the progress of:
- Sleep disorders
- Nausea and pain from chemotherapy
- Alcohol abuse
- Brain trauma
- Brain damage from stroke
- Crohn’s diseases
- Inflammatory bowel diseases
- Hepatitis C
- Multiple Sclerosis
- Alzheimer’s disease
- Anxiety disorders
- Dravat’s Syndrome
- Reversing carcinogenic damage from tobacco use
Because at the end of the day, when somebody hurts, your opinion of their habits and medication choices. don’t. freaking. matter.
So please relax, and enjoy your day off. And if you can, gift a veteran with a nicely rolled joint. They earned it.