Marijuana use for Veteran Patients with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder:
It should be noted that although marijuana is utilized as a treatment for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, little research is available to support or refute the proposed benefits. Since marijuana is still categorized as a Schedule 1 drug, it is illegal, considered very dangerous, and not made available for research projects as a result.
In general, the current information that is available regarding the benefits of using marijuana as a treatment for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder is anecdotal. People with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder have reported a decrease in symptoms of hyperarousal after using marijuana. The federal government is interested and recently, the Senate approved a bill that supports the use of medical marijuana for patients suffering with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and other conditions.
Medical Marijuana Reform News and Notes Today:
This week, the Senate passed the FY2016 Military Construction and Veteran Affairs Appropriations Bill. One noteworthy part of this bill is it includes wording that allows Veteran Administration Doctors to recommend medical marijuana to patients at VA hospitals. This amendment would allow VA doctors to recommend medical marijuana in states that have already approved legislation that permits the use of medical marijuana. Currently, 23 states have passed legislation that permits medical marijuana in some form. According to Michael Collins, deputy director of national affairs for the Drug Policy Alliance, veterans should be able to discuss medical marijuana with their doctors. Thanks to this new amendment, veterans may soon have this opportunity. The equal access amendment was introduced by Republican Senator Steve Daines of Montana and Democratic Senator Jeff Merkley of Oregon. Now that the bill passed through the Senate Committee, it will move on to be debated and negotiated in the House. Without this amendment, veterans will not be allowed to discuss medical marijuana options with their Veterans Hospital medical providers, even though they may live in states that permit medical marijuana programs. Many veterans feel that this prohibition specifically singles them out due to their history of service. Other programs such as Medicare and Medicaid permit patients to discuss options such as medical marijuana with their doctors, only the VA hospital doctors are barred from such conversations. It does not seem fair that given the sacrifices veterans made for their country, they would be denied the same freedoms as other Americans. Restoring this freedom is a big part of the mission for this bill. This equal access bill took its first big step on the eve of Veteran’s Day, and veterans suffering from PTSD and traumatic brain injury hope to see continued support for this bill. At a minimum, veterans deserve the same opportunities as other citizens in the United States.