BY LEAH MAURER
As more research is being done, especially now that our country has more states with legalized cannabis policies, the results seem to be consistent: veterans can receive a multitude of medical and mental benefits through the use of cannabis, which is far safer than pharmaceuticals that might be prescribed for the same conditions.
Recently, The Washington Times reported about The American Legion of Veterans taking a stand against the Trump administration about this topic:
The nation’s largest veterans’ group has requested a meeting at the White House to discuss rescheduling marijuana’s status as a federally controlled substance so medical researchers may legally study its potential to help vets suffering from conditions including traumatic brain injury andpost-traumatic stress disorder.
American Legion is looking for face time with the Trump administration “as we seek support from the president to clear the way for clinical research in the cutting edge areas of cannabinoid receptor research,” the organization wrote in a letter sent to the White House last month and recently shared with the media.
The Weed Blog did an article about Project-22 recently that was written by Blake Bell, the Executive Director of Greater St. Louis NORML (National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws) and Executive Producer of NORML’s Project 4-22.
While Bell did not serve in the military, his experience in these roles has put him in touch with many veterans who support cannabis law reform. He explains, “Cannabis gives veterans a second chance at life. It allows them to feel bliss (Anandamide=THC) when they literally can’t otherwise. The current pharmaceutical cocktail given to our veterans for PTSD are no better than a placebo when it comes to helping. Although they are absolutely proven to cause suicidal ideation and congenital malformations during pregnancy amongst other side effects. Cannabis has been proven safe with well over 25,000 published studies, more than any other plant in history. It needs to be de-scheduled now so lives can be saved. 22 veterans will complete suicide today while we wait. More than 8000+ this year.”
Chris Wolfenbarger is one of the veterans who is a part of Project-22 and is involved with cannabis law reform advocacy efforts in Missouri along with Bell. Wolfenburger began his military career in 2006 and served until he was medically retired in 2013. In a recent letter through New Approach Missouri, the leading marijuana law reform initiative group in the State, Wolfenburger says:
In states where medical cannabis is legal, is it far easier for researchers to study the subject, as they can interview current cannabis users. Missouri could be a leading state on this type of research, but until we get at broad medical cannabis program, the scientists are handcuffed by extensive red tape.
Now is the time for the state of Missouri to lift its prohibition on cannabis therapy. This is not a decision that can wait another five years to be hashed out. The veteran community loses 22 individuals per day to suicide. In five years, we will lose enough veterans to fill Kaufman Stadium where the Kansas City Royals play. If this medicine can help some of these veterans then we owe it to them to make it legally and safely available.
We must act, and we must act now — lives are at stake. We have the power to make a measurable improvement in the lives of all Missouri patients, including tens of thousands of veterans, and this Memorial Day Weekend is the perfect time to start. This initiative is the only way to bring relief to many of those most in need, so I urge you to support it in any and every way you can.
You can learn more here about how to support their efforts as Veterans urge the Trump Administration to allow marijuana research. TWB sincerely hopes that the current administration will listen to groups such as Project-22, New Approach Missouri, the American Legion, and the several other veteran centric groups who are advocating for medical cannabis access for vets.