What it implies to the national drug policy and states rights.
The national debate on Cannabis is not mature enough to take on the idea of offering Veterans an elite status to begin using Cannabis regardless of where they live. One of the most important unreported statistics is that over 22 veterans are taking their lives per day across the U.S. and the communities they live in know beyond a doubt that Cannabis helps PTSD, severe trauma, and the ancillary mental challenges that come from deployed combat.
The DEA doesn’t actually care about this because they continue to stand in the way of allowing national reforms on veteran-specific access to Cannabinoid Therapies.
Dinosaurs tend to go extinct so we’re seeing a new research grant get moved forward – funded by Colorado that will allow Dr. Suzanne Sisley perform a calibrated trial that will allow 76 veterans to use “about a gram daily” of “3 different kinds of marijuana, and a placebo strain”.
Anyone that knows about Cannabis and it’s subjective and unique qualities on the unique and particular nature of each human, knows that “about a gram” is not nearly enough to work through high-degree PTSD, trauma-nightmares, emotional outbursts or any other random challenge that confronts veterans on a day to day basis.
Lets also think about the ramifications of giving a person suffering from PTSD a placebo medication. The person, knowing they are not getting real THC-laden product, also knows they are not getting any benefit from it and thus does not get to give accurate information back to the trial. Does the trial ask specifically if the patient knew they were getting a placebo when they used it? This is a very key question to validating any statistics from the trial.
No matter what comes from the 76 Person 3 Strain and a Dud Trial – it will lend great momentum to the plant’s acceptance by the modern medical establishment that makes up the Veterans Hospitals and the many other psychiatric centers around the country. Allow patients to request their be Cannabis so that they can remove themselves from the psychotic cocktails that now make up the modern strategy to battle fatigue and the re-occurring horrors of deployment.
Representatives Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) and Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA) are pushing to do just this for Veterans with their co-sponsoring of the VETERANS EQUAL ACCESS ACT that will allow VA physicians to recommend medical Cannabis to Veterans with PTSD. The DEA and a federal law prohibits this suggestion now. Of course anyone who’s directly intelligent regarding the quality of life improvement that Cannabis brings to a person suffering from PTSD can say that a national access policy is needed as a moral imperative to our Veterans.
What also needs to be asked is this can’t be widened to question of seniors and children also getting access as a super-group of citizens that should be offered medical status that grants access to Cannabis in a quantity and type that is desirable to them.
We have to be very careful of states rights in this national debate for Veterans alone. There may be places like Utah where they simply don’t want to be dictated to, regardless of the logic, morality, and compassion that is intended in the federal legislation.
Veterans are very communicative with each other, and this allows the information about the benefits of Cannabis to travel very freely amongst Veterans circles. Removing the stigma around using Cannabis, and removing the psychological hybrid class of citizens due to a PTSD diagnosis is VERY important to our culture. There are implications for gun ownership, job entry, security clearance and many others that come with the PTSD diagnosis.
With a little luck, Earl and Dana know this and have allowed their legislation to encompass the myriad of other medical diagnosis that have been proven and accepted to be helped by Cannabis (ie. Chronic pain, headaches, depression, insomnia).
Over 20 Veterans per day are choosing to take their lives instead of turning to some form of Cannabinoid Therapy. Lack of access and the stigma of using should NEVER lead to someone choosing to take their life.