GUEST COMMENTARY-Even as a new report calls for ending a war on drugs that has produced "enormous negative outcomes and collateral damage,” Congress has rejected an amendment to a veterans' funding bill to allow VA doctors in states with medical marijuana on the books to discuss medical pot - not prescribe it or provide it but simply suggest it - to treat PTSD and other ills they got serving the country that is now denying them what "a mountain of evidence" says is the most effective treatment for them.
The VA currently bans physicians from recommending legal medical marijuana to veterans, who could lose their benefits if caught using.
Last week, legislators in Colorado, where pot is legal, also failed to pass a bill to add PTSD to the list of "debilitating medical conditions" that qualify for medical weed, leaving sufferers to rely on what are often dozens of prescription drugs that may or may not ease their symptoms.
More by the numbers: In Congress, the relatively close 222–195 vote suggests the tide is turning; 22 Republicans voted to allow a pot recommendation, though some Democrats, including DNC chair Debbie Wasserman-Schultz, voted against it.
Twenty-one states and D.C. have approved pot for recreational or medical use. Only ten include PTSD as a qualifying condition for treatment.
And on average, a veteran commits suicide every hour. But for God's sake don't let them get high.
(Abby Zimet writes the Further column for CommonDreams.org)
Vol 12 Issue 38
Pub: May 9, 2014