In an effort to promote medical marijuana research for soldiers suffering from a variety of post wartime conditions, the largest veterans organization in the United States is calling for President Trump to reschedule marijuana once and for all.
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Last month, the America Legion sent a letter to the White House, asking to meet with the president to discuss using cannabis treatment to put a leash on veteran suicides and opioid-related issues. The organization is seeking “support from the president to clear the way for clinical research in the cutting edge areas of cannabinoid receptor research,” the letter reads.
“We are not asking for it to be legalized,” Louis Celli, the Legion’s national director of veterans affairs and rehabilitation told Politico. “There is overwhelming evidence that it has been beneficial for some vets. The difference is that it is not founded in federal research because it has been illegal.”
Although medical marijuana is legal across most of the nation, the federal government has refused to budge on its Schedule I classification of the herb, which suggests it has no known medicinal value. This has made it next to impossible for the scientific community to really roll up their sleeves to learn more about the therapeutic benefits of this plant, despite the fact that there is a wealth of anecdotal evidence showing that marijuana can help veterans cope with various debilitating conditions.
This situation has created a scene where doctors employed by the Department of Veterans Affairs cannot so much as utter the word marijuana when discussing treatment options with their patients. Instead, they are forced to load these men and women up on dangerous, highly addictive prescription painkillers and anxiety medications to try and help them make it through another day. For some it works, but for others, it can be easy to get caught up in a vicious cycle of devastating behaviors.
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Some of the latest statistics show that more than 20 veterans commit suicide everyday.
There have been several attempts over the past few years to pass temporary amendments allowing doctors with the VA to discuss medical marijuana with their patients, but all of them have failed. So until the federal government takes action to put marijuana in a Schedule listing that acknowledges the herb has some medicinal benefit, the VA has no choice but to continue treating patients with what it has available.
The American Legion, which represents more than 2 million members, hopes President Trump will help them make a change.
“The American Legion respectfully requests a meeting with President Trump as soon as possible and looks forward to partnering with this administration in the fight against narcotics addiction and reducing the veteran suicide rate from the tragic loss of 20 warriors per day, to zero,” the letter reads.