The health benefits of cannabis have been well known for years by some, and they are starting to gain attention worldwide. There have been recent studies that indicate marijuana can effectively treat post-traumatic stress disorder and major depressive disorder. War veterans have been medicating with cannabis for its health benefits and have experienced significant relief from their symptoms. The governor of New York, Andrew Cuomo, signed legislation recognizing cannabis as a treatment for PTSD this Veteran's Day, and even the FDA is recognizing the health benefits of marijuana.
traumatic stress disorder and major depressive disorder. War veterans have been medicating with cannabis for its health benefits and have experienced significant relief from their symptoms. The governor of New York, Andrew Cuomo, signed legislation recognizing cannabis as a treatment for PTSD this Veteran's Day, and even the FDA is recognizing the health benefits of marijuana.
Forbes reported recently that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration is considering cannabis for health benefits and has recently approved a trial to study marijuana treatment therapy for U.S. Veterans with PTSD. The Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS) is conducting the clinical trials, and it is the first marijuana clinical trial that has been granted approval by the Drug Enforcement Agency and the FDA. The trial began at the end of October with Dr. Sue Sisley.
The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment is funding the study, providing a $2.156 million grant to MAPS. The organization has raised more than $36 million for researching cannabis for health benefits, education, and psychedelic therapy. MAPS wants to mirror the FDA's regulations on pharmaceuticals and prescription drugs for medical cannabis.
Veterans Say Pot Helps PTSD
An estimated 22 veterans die from suicide daily, and Dr. Sisley wants to stop the widespread death, saying, "We have a mountain of anecdotal reports from veterans claiming that cannabis is lifesaving." Sisley says that her main focus for this particular study will be veterans with PTSD who have not been helped with other treatments.
With so many veterans saying that marijuana helped them with PTSD, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo felt compelled to support them and signed a bill allowing people with PTSD to get medical marijuana. While speaking at a Veteran's Day parade, Gov. Cuomo said, "Many of our veterans are suffering from PTSD, and the medical community has determined that marijuana can be a helpful treatment in some areas. And part of our commitment to do everything we can do if there are veterans who are suffering and we can make a treatment available, we want to.” There are currently almost 20,000 veterans in New York with PTSD. Dr. Sisley says that there are 20,000 vets with PTSD in Phoenix as well.
The American Legion Supports Legalization
The New York Times reported that the American Legion is in support of legalizing medical marijuana as well. The Legion also wants to decrease the suicide rate among war veterans with PTSD and believes that cannabis has health benefits. Legion spokesman Joe Plenzler said that soldiers are saying that weed helped them improve their moods when they felt suicidal. "We've got young men and women with PTSD and traumatic brain injuries coming to us and saying that cannabis works." He added that they are using marijuana as opposed to many prescription drugs and opiates.
Cannabis is still classified as a schedule 1 drug, which is the same class as fatal, non-medically-beneficial drugs like heroin. The American Legion says that the most rapid way to make medical marijuana available for veterans is for the federal government to reclassify the drug, which would permit doctors to immediately prescribe marijuana to their patients. It would also allow veterans to get cannabis covered under their insurance through the Veterans Affairs Department. Studies show that at least 83 percent of veterans think that medical marijuana should be legalized. At least 92 percent of veterans say that research should be done on medical marijuana, and 94 percent of the country thinks that medical marijuana should be legal.
Republicans Are Starting to Support Legalization
Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) has crossed party lines to join the Democrats in convincing Florida's governor to legalize medical marijuana. Gaetz helped Rep. Darren Soto (D-Fla.) write the legislation that would reclassify cannabis from a schedule 1 drug to a schedule 3 drug, the same class as steroids and codeine.
Sen. Dan Seum (R-Ky.) has proposed legalizing weed in order to raise revenue for state pensions, an underfunded program. Republican Rep. Jeremy Faison of Tennessee introduced legislation to legalize cannabis oil. He says that the legal amount, which is .03 percent, is not strong enough to help those that need it. Faison also thinks that 50 to 100 jobs for each new facility could be created once legalization was implemented.
Mary Jane may very well be on her way to becoming legal in every state if people continue to learn that cannabis has health benefits and evidence continues to mount. With so many politicians supporting legalization, including previously unconvinced conservative politicians, it's only a matter of time before marijuana is legal everywhere.
Article by: Niko Mann