Veterans Speak and We Believe Them

A hearing was held in Frankfort Kentucky of the Kentucky Assembly Interim Joint Committee on Veterans, Military Affairs and Public Protection, focusing on Veteran Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. (PTSD)
The Veterans Administration testified that there are 350,000 cases of Veteran PTSD among Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans. Around the same time the Vietnam Veterans Longitudinal study reported 283,000 cases of PTSD among Vietnam Veterans for a total of 633,000 cases of PTSD.
This total does not include Korean, Cold or Gulf war Veterans. Include them and we are easily looking at 3 quarters of a million cases of PTSD among the Veteran population.
Given the VA reported high number of suicides among Veterans and the fact that PTSD sufferers can be driven to extremes of self-destruction and violence by this condition and one can only conclude that we are witnessing a situation of epidemic proportions.
The VA testified in the Kentucky hearing that despite all the drugs and therapies used there has been little success in dealing with this condition and no drug can be said to work for PTSD. Veterans report being overloaded with treatments and enough drugs to choke a horse all with little to no relief.
The lousy success rate at the Veterans Administration has led many Veterans to turn to medical cannabis for relief from PTSD and chronic pain. They report great success and we believe them!
Veterans applying for the New Mexico Medical Marijuana Program report an average of a 75% reduction in their PTSD symptoms when using medical cannabis and many say medical cannabis has saved their lives and we believe them.
Veterans in States with medical marijuana programs are having great success and only run into trouble when, contrary to their own rules, the VA decides to withhold treatment because a Veteran tested positive in a routine urine test.
We have a conundrum that could not be more obvious. We have an epidemic of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder among the Veteran population and the most successful treatment for it is illegal under Federal law!
We suggest that until Congress acts, the President expand the old Investigative New Drug Program, sometimes called the Compassionate Care Program that was killed by President HR Bush. Patients enrolled when that program was shut down sued and to this day the surviving patients receive a tin of 300 marijuana cigarettes every month from the Federal Marijuana Farm at the University of Mississippi.
There is no reason this program could not be expanded to help our Veterans. Tailor it to Veterans and have the VA Doctors do the applications. In states with a medical cannabis program the local VA could do a simple voucher program and for Veterans not in medical cannabis states simply send them a tin from Mississippi as they do now.
We can begin right now to help these Veterans to a better life without waiting for a dysfunctional Congress to act.
You know if we were out on patrol and a soldier came running up and said, “There’s a machine gun right around the bend!”, we would believe them!
These Veterans are coming to us and telling us, “This Medicine works!”, and we believe them!
We call on the Veterans Administration, the Federal Government and the Kentucky General Assembly to believe them as well!

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