Published on February 6th, 2016 | by News Feed
Congress Members Protest Unfair Ban on Cannabis for Vets with PTSD
As most citizens of the United States are now aware of, four states have legalized pot for recreational use and 23 others have some form of legalization for medicinal purposes. In spite of the many American citizens having the option of receiving cannabis as an option for legitimate medicinal treatment, our own U.S. service members do not have the option. Since the Veterans Administration (VA) has the responsibility of taking care of the treatment of the Veterans of Foreign Wars, they are able to dictate how the service men and women will be cared for. The guidelines for medical doctors at the VA do not permitted the use of cannabis, for any reason, as a treatment option.
Bipartisan legislation is currently being considered to allow access to marijuana and its derivatives, for the treatment of various ailments plaguing our American service members. The nudging of the VA, to allow marijuana as a viable treatment for the American heroes returning from war torn areas like Iraq and Afghanistan, is currently underway. The push is being led in part by New York Senator Kristen Gillibrand, Representative Earl Blumenauer from Oregon, and California Representative Dana Rohrabacher. It is important to note that Blumenauer and Rohrabacher, amended a 2015 spending bill, so that DEA and DOJ bureaucrats could not unjustly punish patrons of the medical marijuana community.
Congressional lawmakers are starting to wake up to the reality that marijuana is indeed a viable technique for treating a large assortment of debilitating illnesses. In a letter directed to the VA, a collaboration of 21 representatives from both Houses of Congress wrote, “According to the current directive, VA providers are prohibited from completing forms seeking recommendations or opinions regarding a veteran’s participation in state-sanctioned marijuana programs. This program removes incentives from doctors and patients to be honest with each other.”
Veterans should be permitted to receive at minimum, the same level of medical care as is offered to the civilian population. Under the current bureaucracy, veterans are punished if they have a drug test show positive for tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the active ingredient in marijuana.
The letter to the VA from Congress continued, “Congress has taken the initial steps to alleviate this conflict in law and will continue to work toward this goal”. The lawmakers went on saying, “However, you are in a position to make this change when the current VHA directive expires at the end of this month. We ask that you act to ensure that our veterans’ access to care is not compromised and that doctors and patients are allowed to have honest discussions about treatment option.”
Do you think all veterans should be eligible to receive medical marijuana? Is it time to update the federal classification of cannabis?