DEA: Stop Blocking Medical Marijuana Research for Treating Veterans with PTSD
  • Petitioning Michele Leonhart

This petition will be delivered to:

DEA Administrator
Michele Leonhart
Health and Human Services Secretary
Kathleen Sebelius
Director, National Institute on Drug Abuse
Dr. Nora D. Volkow

DEA: Stop Blocking Medical Marijuana Research for Treating Veterans with PTSD

    1. Ryan Begin
    2. Petition by

      Ryan Begin

      Belfast, ME

My name is Sergant Ryan Begin United States Marine Corps (Ret).  I served two tours in Iraq.  During my second tour on August 1, 2004, I was hit by an improvised explosive device, also known as a roadside bomb. I lost my right elbow and endured over 30 surgeries.  On that day my elbow saved my life in two seperate ways.  First it physically saved me by absorbing the shrapnel and blocking my vital organs from being ripped apart.  The second way it saved me would not reveal itself until last winter, seven years later.  It qualified me for medical marijuana in the state of Maine due to the intractable pain.  I have also been diagnosed with severe PTSD, and although people with PTSD do not "qualify" for medical marijuana,  it was my PTSD condition that received the greatest benefit from medical marijuana.

Every day veterans are returning home from combat and once they return they face their biggest battle, dealing with the PTSD they now suffer from. We know it works and we want research to be done so that we can find out how and why. Sadly, the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) and DEA refuse to allow research to be done on medical marijuana and PTSD. 

The FDA has approved a protocol to study the therapeutic potential of marijuana for veterans suffering from PTSD. But amazingly, NIDA has a monopoly on the cannabis used for research in the U.S. and they continually refuse to allow researchers to purchase their marijuana for this study. Their decision is clearly political, and it's impending research and prolonging suffering for America's troops who have sacrificed so much for their country. 

NIDA's refusal also comes at a time when physicians themselves are recognizing the medical value of medical cannabis. 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" ("California Medical Assn. calls for legalization of marijuana", October 15, 2011).

Scientists, veterans, physicians, public health officials, and state governments are now calling for an end to the U.S. government's blockade of medical marijuana research. I hope you'll join us and sign this petition. 

Recent signatures


    1. Please sign this new petition!

      Ryan Begin
      Petition Organizer

      I just learned that Dr. Sue Sisley, the researcher at the University of Arizona conducting the research into medical marijuana's treatment of veterans with PTSD, has been fired by the university. This is likely due to University of Arizona administrators disagreeing with medical marijuana - so they're putting politics before research and veterans!

      Another veteran suffering from PTSD has started a petition demanding the university keep Dr. Sisley on staff so she can conduct this groundbreaking research. Will you sign it? Here's the link:

      Dr. Sisley is the only researcher with the federal approval to conduct this study. Without her, this potentially life saving research won't be conducted. Please sign this new petition and help veterans get the care they deserve!

      University of Arizona: Don't terminate medical marijuana research!

      Dr. Suzanne Sisley, a faculty member and researcher at the University of Arizona, was informed that her positions would not be renewed last month, likely a result of her federally approved research into the treatment of PTSD with medical marijuana.

    2. Reached 150,000 signatures
    3. Ryan interviewed by Wired Magazine

      Jonathan Perri
      Deputy Campaign Director

      Vet to Feds: Enough Stonewalling, Give Us Pot for PTSD

      "Begin’s now launched an online petition asking the feds to change their course on marijuana as a treatment for PTSD. In September, the first-ever study proposed to evaluate marijuana as a potential treatment for PTSD was blocked by officials at the National Institutes on Drug Abuse (NIDA). With an estimated 37 percent of this generation’s vets afflicted with PTSD, and a dearth of effective treatment options available, Begin thinks pot deserves, at the very least, a single study."

    4. Reached 12,500 signatures



    Nov 11, 2011

    Treat veterans right on 11/11/11

    Beckley Foundation


    Nov 11, 2011

    Petition to advance medical #marijuana research for post-traumatic stress disorder. #mmot #Veterans

    Drug Policy Alliance

    Reasons for signing

    • Vicky O'Dell WACO, TX
      • 10 days ago

      My husband killed himself and if he would have been allowed the use of Marijuana that wouldn't have happened he was 100% service connected PDST V.A

    • Arent Bradt PORT HURON, MI
      • 11 days ago

      Natural Medicines are much more sustainable as a whole that widespread industrial pharmaceuticals. Allowing individuals to grow any plants for medicine greatly reduces dependency on large commercial enterprises only interested in making the issue of health one of profit. If pharmaceuticals are indeed the better method as I am sure they would declare, why not allow a fair shake at the natural method as well? Then once and for all let the facts speak for themselves!

    • Timothy Kane MARTINEZ, CA
      • 13 days ago

      I am a medical marijuana patient.

    • Deryle Hughes WINTER PARK, FL
      • 21 days ago

      I believe that medical can a bus will help veterans and anyone with chronic pain and desease that can be talkin instead of pills for pain with to many side effects

    • DeeJay FarrOut THORN CITY, OR
      • 24 days ago

      As Bobby Bel states "freedom" and also...because its the right thing to do. Marijuana can help


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