2.4 Million Vets Pushing for VA to Allow Cannabis

By Jason Marcuz

The American Legion, America’s largest veteran group, passed a vote urging US President Donald Trump to allow doctors treating patients at Veterans Affairs hospitals to advise their patients about the benefits of medical marijuana. This group of veterans has been working for over a year to portray the debate about the use of medical marijuana not just as one with economic and medical implications but also a patriotic one. Their argument is that access to medical marijuana will ease the pain and suffering among veterans and reduce the suicide rates among soldiers returning home from duty.

This war vets group, which has over 2.4 million members, is among a number of notable critics of the federal prohibition of marijuana. Currently, doctors working at VA hospitals are not allowed to even talk to their patients about medical marijuana. This ban, though, could be lifted without changing federal law.

Medical Marijuana
According to a spokesman, there are plenty of young women and men suffering traumatic brain injuries and post-traumatic stress disorders who claim that marijuana works. Most members of the veterans’ group believe medical marijuana is an excellent alternative to current medication which they popularly to as “Zombie medication.” Zombie medication includes antidepressants and Opioids which many vets set said they affect their personality and moods in a negative way, propelling many to even contemplate suicide and other kinds of drastic actions.

The war vets are basing their arguments not just on the testimony of soldiers but also on studies which show marijuana helps reduce muscular spasm in multiple sclerosis patients and also helps in the management of chronic pain. The organization, according to its spokesperson, Joe Plenzler, is all about going after evidence-based treatment that improves the lives of veterans. Joe went on to state that there are plenty of veterans across America suffering from chronic pain, Opioids addiction, night terrors, and post-traumatic stress disorder. A good number of these veterans claim to have received relief from medical marijuana but outside the VA system.

This is not the first time that the vets are petitioning the government. In 2016, the American Legion petitioned Congress to ease federal restrictions on marijuana. They wanted cannabis reclassified in a lower schedule and not a Schedule 1 narcotic. They also wanted the DEA to license more medical research on marijuana by privately funded growers. The American Legion was formed after World War I and advocates for the welfare of US veterans.