by David Downs
Cannabis is a legitimate medicine in more than a dozen states, but that legitimacy has created endless conflicts with a “straight” medical community. The latest flare-up is over American military veterans, some of whom could be helped by the herb, but not via the Department of Veterans Affairs, evidently. Monday, former Nebraska Senator Bob Kerrey and Drug Policy Alliance director Jason Flom blasted the VA for their policy of prohibiting VA physicians from recommending medical cannabis to their patients.
“The VA claims the ban is primarily a response to threats from the Drug Enforcement Administration to prosecute VA doctors for recommending medical marijuana,” Vietnam vet Kerrey and Flom wrote on Huffington Post.
Talk show host Montel Williams, a medical cannabis patient and Marine and Navy vet, jumped in:
"I find it egregiously offensive that we can send our children off to die for our freedom, and then so callously turn our backs on their freedom when they return home. Research has proven the efficacy of medicinal marijuana in the treatment of PTSD. How dare we turn our backs on those who did not hesitate to put themselves in harms way to support and defend our Constitution?"
NPR also recently profiled New Mexico vet Paul Culkin and his family. Culkin turned to cannabis for his PTSD after existing medication “made him a zombie.” His wife told NPR:
"He's a different person. He's a better person. He's more open. He's more communicative. At one point, we almost got a divorce, and I can honestly say that I think medical cannabis saved our marriage and our family."
Of course, sick, dying, and injured vets can still spring for a medical cannabis recommendation out of their own pockets, unless they live in the 36 states where they will be, ahem, locked up with the 800,000 people arrested each year for pot.
Let freedom ring, ya’ll.