The United States federal government has finally granted approval for veterans suffering from Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) to be treated with medical marijuana.
Prior to legalization, the feds had allocated money to researchers to test medical marijuana on veterans who suffer with PTSD.
As of March 2014, the study had been approved by the Department of Health and Human Services, but met with opposition from the National Institute of Drug Abuse, which finally signed off this month on the government supplying the drug for clinical trials.
It’s estimated that 20% of Iraq and Afghanistan War veterans have PTSD. This is a significant rise from the estimated 12% suffering from the condition after the Gulf War, according to the Department of Veteran Affairs.
The United States government reports that 20% of Iraq and Afghanistan War veterans have experienced PTSD.
To look at it another way:15% of Vietnam vets have been diagnosed (some may be still undiagnosed) with PTSD.
According to the Los Angeles Times, the suicide rate for those who served in Iraq and Afghanistan is 50% higher than that of non-military sufferers.
Reps. Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.) and Dana Rohrabacher (R-Calif.) have co-sponsored the bill for these studies and the legalization that is expected to result, called the Veterans Equal Access Act. The bill would allow physicians at VA hospitals to prescribe medical marijuana for veterans suffering from PTSD. .
“Our antiquated drug laws must catch up with the real suffering of so many of our veterans,” Rohrabacher explained during a joint news conference related to the introduction of the bill. “This is now a moral cause and a matter of supreme urgency.”