“Physicians should use the same standard of care in recommending medical marijuana to patients as they would when recommending or approving any other medication.”– Frank Lucido, M.D
Then God said, “Let the land produce vegetation: seed-bearing plants and trees on the land that bear fruit with seed in it, according to their various kinds.” And it was so. The land produced vegetation: plants bearing seed according to their kinds…And God saw that it was good.
Then God said, “I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours…—I give every green plant”…And God saw that it was good and it was so. -Genesis 1:11-12, 29-30
From the time of the United States Revolution through World War I, Veterans had legal access to cannabis; but in 1942 a few powerful men managed to have cannabis removed from the United States Formulary.
In recent years, the number of veterans seeking disability compensation for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) has spiked by almost 80 percent.
America’s veterans are killing themselves at the rate of over five hundred suicides a month.
Approximately 20% of veterans returning from Iraq/Afghanistan are being diagnosed with PTSD.
VA statistics regarding Iraq and Afghanistan War veterans:
- Veterans Diagnosed by VA with Mental Health Condition: 193,879 (45.6% of veterans treated by VA)
- Veterans Diagnosed by VA with PTSD: 114,908 (27.0% of veterans treated by VA)
- Veterans Filing Disability Claims Against VA: 381,782 (38.9% of veterans)
- Veterans with Approved PTSd Claims: 53,079 (46.2% of the veterans diagnosed by VA with PTSd)
- Veterans: 981,834 (out of nearly two million deployed)
- Veterans Treated at VA Hospitals and Clinics: 425,538 (43.3% of veterans)
Medical research has shown medical marijuana has been very successful in treating PTSD and it’s symptoms.
Medical science proves that the human body makes it’s own cannabis like substances called cannabinoids which are known to ease pain and anxiety. The cannabinoids in marijuana work with this natural body system to ease the symptoms of PTSD, which would give disabled Veterans a big improvement in their quality of life.
PTSD patients have poor responses to psychotherapy and often turn to alcohol and drugs. Many also suffer from chronic pain and addictions to opiate pain medications. However, Vets with access to Cannabis under medical marijuana laws, report cannabis use is a uniquely successful treatment of their symptoms.
In 2005, Psychiatrist Tod Mikuriya, MD, wrote:
“Approximately eight percent of the 9,000 Californians whose cannabis use I have monitored presented with PTSD (309.81) as a primary diagnosis. Many of them are Vietnam veterans whose chronic depression, insomnia, and accompanying irritability cannot be relieved by conventional psychotherapeutics and is worsened by alcohol. For many of these veterans, chronic pain from old physical injury compounds problems with narcotic dependence and side effects of opioids.
“Cannabis relieves pain, enables sleep, normalizes gastrointestinal function and restores peristalsis. Fortified by improved digestion and adequate rest, the patient can resist being overwhelmed by triggering simuli. There is no other psychotherapeutic drug with these synergistic and complementary effects.
“In treating PTSD, psychotherapy should focus on improving how the patient deals with resurgent symptoms rather than revisitation of the events. Decreasing vulnerability to symptoms and restoring control to the individual take priority over insight as treatment goals. Revisiting the traumatic events without closure and support is not useful but prolongs and exacerbates pain and fear of loss of control.”
Michael Krawitz, a Disabled United States Air Force Sergeant and the Executive Director of Veterans For Medical Cannabis Access wrote:
As the leader of Veterans For Medical Cannabis Access [VMCA] I helped the VA create a medical marijuana policy that respects the rights of disabled Veterans using this important medicine according to state laws. That policy has been made to look like a cruel joke given the latest actions of this presidential administration.
In response to the actions of the president, our organization has crafted a petition that we have placed on the new White House, “We The People” website: http://wh.gov/4xd “Allow United States Disabled Military Veterans access to medical marijuana.”
The fact that a Veteran in New Mexico can use cannabis legally for PTSD, but a similar Veteran in Florida will face arrest and punishment at the VA hospital for using the same medicine is wrong. It is illogical. It is not the practice of medicine; it is the practice of politics on the wounded. It is shameful and must end! 
In 2008, there were over three hundred thousand backlogged disability claims involving veterans with PTSD and depression and that fact depresses me!
We owe our Veterans true support and that includes fighting for their right to obtain Medical Cannabis.
If this fiscal conservative, spiritual progressive and citizen of conscience is elected to the US House of Representatives in 2012, among my first acts of Congress will be to sponsor a House Resolution for Compassionate Cannabis laws in Florida and I will strive to make it National.
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