Urge the VA to Support Research of Medical Marijuana in Treating Veterans with PTSD

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PTSD is a severe and potentially debilitating affliction for many veterans. Our country should be doing everything it can to support viable and safe treatment options for PTSD. Yet, incredibly, the Department of Veterans’ Affairs (VA) is not actively supporting clinical research studying the potential use of medical cannabis as a treatment option for PTSD, even though preliminary studies have shown promising results.

According to their own website, the VA claims they cannot recommend or assist Veterans in using medical marijuana as long as it is classified as a Schedule One Drug by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). However, the FDA’s own position “supports researchers who conduct adequate and well-controlled clinical trials which may lead to the development of safe and effective marijuana products to treat medical conditions” (https://www.fda.gov/newsevents/publichealthfocus/ucm421163.htm).

So, why is the VA not willing to assist and actively support clinical medical marijuana trials? We can find no legitimate answer to this question.

There is no group more deserving of access to all helpful medicinal options than Veterans who have bravely served our nation. Because of the lack of treatment options, many Veterans’ rely on opioids to treat their PTSD despite the fact that many negative health impacts are associated with long term use, and in many cases abuse, of opioids. We should be doing everything we can to find viable alternatives to opioids.

As an Arizona-based patient-focused organization, AMMA PAC actively works on policies which remove barriers and support full access to medical marijuana for those in need. This includes Veterans with PTSD, who might be one of the biggest beneficiaries of medical marijuana treatment options. But without further study, we may never know. In our home state of Arizona, we have a federally approved study taking place right now, but the VA has not been supportive in referring Veterans to the study. That is a travesty and it needs to be rectified.

We are calling on the leaders of the VA and the FDA to work together in resolving this situation and begin proactively supporting legitimate medical marijuana research programs. We hope you will join us in supporting this potentially life-saving cause and sign our petition.



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