JUST IN: New Study Released Shows SHOCKING Results Among Veterans Who Smoke Marijuana

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Huny Badger AMERICA’S FREEDOM FIGHTERS –

The opioid crisis in America is having a negative impact on our veterans. According to a 2011 study of the VA System, veterans routinely contend with poorly-treated chronic pain leading to increased suicide risk.

Additionally, veterans are twice as likely to succumb to accidental opioid overdoses, and traumatic brain injury and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) remain leading causes of death and disability.

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The VA is notorious for throwing narcotics to treat Vets instead of a true medical diagnosis and treatment plan.  Which can lead to everything from addiction to suicide and everything in-between that destroys their lives and the lives of those around them.

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While pot remains a Schedule 1 substance — “drugs with no currently accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse,” according to the Drug Enforcement Administration — states remain free to pass laws allowing for the creation of recreational or medical weed programs.

However, at the federal level, one government agency is facing mounting pressure to adopt a different position on the use of marijuana for medicinal purposes: the Department of Veterans Affairs.

The VA and its medical arm, the Veterans Health Administration — which provides healthcare services to more than 9 million enrolled veterans — have maintained consistent, but vague guidelines on medical marijuana.

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According to taskandpurpose.com, 46-year-old Boone Cutler, who served in the Army across three enlistments between 1990 and 2010. While deployed to Iraq’s Sadr City from 2005 to 2006, Cutler suffered a traumatic brain injury following a mortar attack. He was later diagnosed by the VA with post-traumatic stress disorder and early-onset Parkinson’s Disease.

After his injury, Cutler was wracked with chronic migraines and insomnia — at best, he could count on just a few hours of fitful sleep each night. Between 2006 and 2010, he was prescribed a range of drugs at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, D.C., and later at a VA clinic in Reno, Nevada. To help treat his insomnia and the pain from his sore joints and relentless headaches, Cutler received a prescription cocktail he called “zombie dope” and said it left him feeling disconnected, unable to feel or think clearly. Out of desperation, Cutler checked into a VA psychiatric ward in Reno in 2010. While there, he decided to try medical pot — made legal in Nevada in 2000 — to help him rest.

The first night he smoked, Cutler said he slept five hours and woke up “refreshed,” a feeling that had eluded him for nearly half a decade. Though he currently relies on just cannabis-based extracts, like cannabidiol, for a while, he medicated with a mix of painkillers and herb, and informed his doctors he was doing so.

“What I found out was that there was this secret everybody used and nobody talked about it,” Cutler said. “My doctor’s just flat out didn’t have a problem with it. My VA docs — I had two at that time — they asked how my sleep was, and I said, ‘it’s fine, I use cannabis,’ and they asked how that’s working, I said, ‘it works great,’ and that was basically it.”

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But a change may already be coming to the VA, and instead of taking place in back rooms around Capitol Hill, it’s occurring at the doctor’s office with conversations between veterans and their physicians.

Many veterans suffering from PTSD and chronic pain – especially those of the Iraq and Afghanistan generation – have told The American Legion that they have achieved improved healthcare outcomes by foregoing VA-prescribed opioids in favor of medical cannabis. While the stories of these wartime veterans are compelling, more research must be done in order to enable the American people to have a fact-based debate on future drug policy.

The latest public opinion polls show that more than 80% of the American people and 92% of veteran households support medical cannabis research.

Here’s the problem: because the federal government lists cannabis as a Schedule I drug in the Controlled Substances Act, it is almost impossible for medical professionals to conduct research on the drug. (All of the opioids contributing to the current crisis are Schedule II drugs or lower.)

In September 2016, at the Legion’s National Convention in Cincinnati, Ohio, Legionnaires passed Resolution 11 to urge the Drug Enforcement Agency to license privately-funded medical marijuana production operations in the United States to enable safe and efficient cannabis drug development research, and urge Congress to amend legislation to remove Marijuana from schedule I and reclassify it in a category that, at a minimum, will recognize cannabis as a drug with potential medical value.  We’re not alone.

The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine found significant evidence for the efficacy of cannabis in treating chronic pain, reducing spasticity in MS patients and reducing chemotherapy-induced nausea.

In August 2017, at the Legion’s National Convention in Reno, Nev., Legionnaires passed Resolution 28 calling on the Federal government to allow medical providers within the Department of Veterans Affairs to discuss medical cannabis as a treatment option in states where medical marijuana is legal.

Here’s the bottom line: veterans are suffering; the government is standing in the way; and we need your help to convince Congress to act.

 

 

A memo from Five Corners Strategies on the survey said, “Support for medical cannabis and research on medical cannabis is high across veterans and caregivers, all age ranges, gender, political leanings and geography.”

The survey showed that 88 percent of self-identified conservative respondents, 90 percent of self-identified liberals and 70 percent of self-identified independents supported federally legalized medical cannabis.

The survey was released at a Capitol Hill news conference attended by Reps. Tim Walz, D-Minnesota, ranking member of the House Veterans Affairs Committee; Mark Takano, D-California; Julia Brownley, D-California; and Matt Gaetz, R-Florida.

At its national convention in Reno, Nevada, in August, the American Legion adopted a resolution urging the federal government to allow doctors at the Department of Veterans Affairs to discuss and recommend medical marijuana in the 26 states where cannabis is legal.

The Legion previously had urged the removal of marijuana from the government’s list of “Schedule 1” drugs. The list includes heroin, LSD and Ecstasy, which are deemed to have no medical use.

In May, VA Secretary David Shulkin said he was open to new evidence showing marijuana could be used to treat veterans, but VA policy currently bars its doctors from sharing their opinions on marijuana with veterans or recommending it for medical use.

At the news conference Thursday, Legion Executive Director Verna Jones stressed that the Legion is “not advocating for recreational use of marijuana, but we are advocating for the removal of cannabis from Schedule One of the Controlled Substances Act so that more medical investigators can do research.”

Lou Celli, the Legion’s national director of Veterans Affairs and Rehabilitation, said that as a former law enforcement officer and Army master sergeant, he was initially skeptical when veterans told him of the beneficial effects of medicinal marijuana.

He said he has come to believe that “cannabis is improperly categorized as a ‘most dangerous and most addictive’ drug — right up there with Ecstasy and heroin. Ironically, all of the opioids that kill more than 90 Americans every day are Schedule II and III drugs.

H/T Fox News

AFF’s Huny Badger is a Veteran who served our country as an Army Combat Medic.

TOGETHER WE WILL MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!

Dean James III% AMERICA’S FREEDOM FIGHTERS

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