The American Legion of Indiana Supports Legalizing Medical Marijuana
INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – Supporters of legalizing medical marijuana in Indiana won new recruits on Thursday when the American Legion of Indiana made an announcement that they are for legalizing medical marijuana. The American Legion said that they offered their support after they conducted a national American Legion survey that indicated marijuana has health benefits and support for the drug is rising.
Marijuana is still classified as a Schedule I drug by the federal government, the same class as the fatal drug heroin. The American Legion wants legislatures to change the classification of marijuana as well as acknowledge its medical benefits.
The communications director of the American Legion John Raughter said that they also want more research done on medical marijuana. “We have never endorsed the use of marijuana for recreational or even medicinal purposes. All we’re saying is we want the VA to do research into the area. We are saying that we want it to be removed as a Schedule I and be reclassified.” Because of the classification, veterans have trouble getting medical marijuana, even in legal states.
Unfortunately, the Indiana Prosecuting Attorneys Council is vehemently against any marijuana legalization. The state’s Attorney General Curtis Hill wrote an open letter stating that legalizing marijuana would increase the opioid epidemic, despite evidence to the contrary. Hill said in his letter that “legalizing marijuana is a road to nowhere good.”
Studies show that medical marijuana helps veterans suffering from PTSD. A nationwide survey found that 83 percent of veterans believe that the federal government should legalize medical marijuana, with 92 percent of veterans supporting research for medical marijuana. But because of the federal governments continued ban on marijuana, the stigma continues to deter some folks like Hill from embracing legalizing marijuana.
Niko Mann is a freelance writer living in Los Angeles.