There’s an excellent OpEd at Alternet, written by Penny Coleman, the widow of a Vietnam veteran who took his own life after coming home: 10 Reasons the U.S. Military Should (Officially) Use Pot
I know this is an issue of some importance to a number of our regular readers.
Lots of good points… here are some interesting ones:
Restore the reputation of the VA among veterans.
After all the criticism of the VA for limiting access, shredding claims, misdiagnosing illnesses as a cost-saving trick and using soldiers as uninformed guinea pigs to test pharmaceutical drugs linked to suicide and other violent side effects, veterans invited by the VA to knowingly participate in a marijuana study might be inclined to allow the euphorogenic qualities associated with cannabis to blur their outrage, even to the point of forgiveness.
Israeli rats have less stress than American soldiers.
In an article published in the September issue of the Journal of Neuroscience, Israeli scientists revealed that injecting synthetic marijuana into the brains of rats allowed them to recover faster from trauma. In fact, it â€œcancelled out the symptoms of stress.” […]
Soldier Suicides […]
Soldier suicides are at an all-time high and so are prescriptions for all kinds of new and dangerous drugs. Nobody can say for sure if there is a connection between those two facts, and I would never suggest that marijuana could or should take the place of SSRIs or any other drugs proven to be effective in managing PTSD. Or that marijuana could prevent soldier suicides. But the vast majority of drugs the VA prescribes for PTSD are known to worsen depression, increase suicidal thinking or increase risk of death in enough people to warrant the warning.
The same is not true of marijuana.
Supporting our troops is not accomplished by putting a ribbon on your car or a God Bless America poster in your window. More soldiers are surviving combat these days but coming back with serious conditions that need help. How can we be said to be supporting our troops when we force veterans to turn to street criminals to score medicine that will help them?