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. Reached 150,000 signatures
    2. 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."

    3. 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

    • David Jones BRISTOL, TN
      • about 1 hour ago

      It's just common sense....

    • Mary Walton CARIBOU, ME
      • about 7 hours ago

      Anything we can do to help our Vets who have given so much should be done asap. There are other conditions that Med marijuiana could help as well to cut down on legal and illegal prescription drug use and dependence/addiction which is killing people every day. Please pass this legislation!

    • Malik Lucas TEMPLE HILLS, MD
      • about 10 hours ago

      I research PTSD and realize veterans don't get proper treatment for it until it is too late. We need to allow the veterans cope with them in the way they deem fit.

    • John Bennett GRAND PRAIRIE, TX
      • about 19 hours ago

      Honestly. Near everyone needs Medical Marijuana.

    • Marie McMurtry STOCKTON, CA
      • about 20 hours ago

      I don't smoke weed, but people that are ill and are helped by it should be able to, as long as they're not in a position to endanger others(ex. Babysitter, drivers, doctors) while medicating.


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