The issue of the federal government allowing military veterans to use medical marijuana to treat their Post Traumatic Stress Disorder has been a sticking point between medical cannabis advocates and the feds for quite a while now – along with many other sticking points.
And while the Obama Administration has showed some leeway when it comes to veterans who are legal medical marijuana patients, more needs to be done, especially in the area of medical research.
Below is a press release from Change.org.
WOUNDED IRAQ VETERAN TO GOVERNMENT:
ALLOW RESEARCH ON TREATING PTSD WITH MEDICAL MARIJUANA
Retired Marine sergeant launches online campaign asking multiple government groups to allow researchers to study marijuana’s potential for treating post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
AUGUSTA, ME – More than 10,000 people in over 40 states have joined a popular campaign on Change.org launched by a former U.S. Marine calling on multiple government agencies to stop blocking research of medical marijuana’s potential treatment of PTSD for veterans.
Sergeant Ryan Begin, a retired member of the United States Marine Corps, is leading the campaign on Change.org following news that the Department of Health and Human Services denied a study protocol submitted by researchers requesting to purchase marijuana to study the plant’s potential use in treating post-traumatic-stress disorder.
“I served two tours in Iraq and was hit by an improvised explosive device, losing my right elbow and then enduring over 30 surgeries,” said Sergeant Ryan Begin, who launched the campaign on Change.org. “Now that I’m home, I suffer from PTSD, and not only does the federal government consider me a criminal for using medical marijuana to treat my symptoms, they even refuse to allow researchers to see how marijuana might help our troops. It’s shameful.”
“I know there are many other veterans like me who would rather use marijuana than the plethora of dangerous and addictive pharmaceutical drugs that are being pushed on us,” continued Begin. “Really, I just think it’s foolish and cruel that our government is blocking research. It’s clearly a political game, but it’s our lives they’re playing with.”
News of the online campaign’s success is likely to increase pressure on Health and Human Services’ Kathleen Sebelius, the Drug Enforcement Administration’s Michele Leonhart, and the National Institute on Drug Abuse’s Nora Volkow who have denied researchers at the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS) the marijuana to use in MAPS’s FDA approved study. Within hours of the campaign’s launch, Sergeant Begin had recruited hundreds of supporters on Change.org, the world’s fastest growing platform for social change.
“What Ryan Begin has accomplished in just a few days is remarkable,” said Change.org Senior Organizer for Criminal Justice Jon Perri. “With literally no budget and armed only with a passionate plea for support, Ryan has managed to recruit more than 10,000 supporters from over 40 states and has inspired other soldiers to join his campaign. Change.org is about empowering anyone, anywhere to demand action on the issues that matter to them, and it has been incredible to watch Ryan’s campaign take off.”
According to a Gallup poll released this month, support for legalizing marijuana is at an all-time high in the United States, with 50% of respondents indicating they feel the drug should be legalized and regulated. Recently, the California Medical Association told the Los Angeles Times that the question of whether marijuana is a medicine “can only be answered once it is legalized and more research is done.”
Live signature totals from Sargant Ryan Begin’s campaign:
It seems like a simple thing to allow research into something with great potential to help our veterans. They’ve endured so much, must we really make them suffer even more?
And be sure to check out our Open Letter on Behalf of 30 Million Cannabis Users and join us in our fight!