Why Veterans Struggling with PTSD Want MMJ
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Why Veterans Struggling with PTSD Want MMJ
Posted by CN Staff on July 10, 2013 at 20:32:38 PT
By Kristen Gwynne 
Source: AlterNet 
New Mexico -- A new campaign to expand medical marijuana access to veterans struggling with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) aims to spread awareness about the drug's efficacy, while urging states with medical cannabis programs to include PTSD in their lists of conditions for which medical marijuana may be prescribed. The Freedom to Choose Campaign -- launched by veterans, the Drug Policy Alliance, and elected officials -- targets lawmakers, physicians, and employers to recognize marijuana as a safe, efficient alternative to other PTSD medications that may not work as well or cause troubling side effects. While they urge lawmakers to adopt legislation that protects veterans' access to medical marijuana, the campaign targets Veteran Affairs (and other) doctors to recognize the benefits of medical marijuana for PTSD, and demands employers not discriminate against employers who are medical marijuana patients with PTSD.
Advocates for the campaign include New Mexico lawmakers Congressperson Michelle Lujan Grisham (D) and State Representative Antonio Maestas (D), who applaud their state for keeping PTSD a condition listed for medical marijuana use, despite a campaign to have it removed from the program, and urge other states to follow their lead. But even in New Mexico, PTSD patients using medical marijuana legally may face discrimination. Iraq War veteran Augustine Stanley, an advocate for the Freedom to Choose campaign, was fired by the Bernalillo Metropolitan Detention Center for being a legal medical marijuana patient in New Mexico, one of few states that recognize PTSD as a condition for which medical pot may be prescribed. But he is determined to remain a patient, regardless of employer discrimination. "Being a part of the medical marijuana program has given me all the joys of life back," Stanley said on a conference call for the press.A patient since 2012, he said that after using marijuana to treat PTSD, "I could wake up in the morning and do the things I used to enjoy, prior to being put on all those medications that leave me like a zombie." Prescription pills, he said, drove him into a "deeper depression."Wife Anetra Stanley said, “When we came back from the war, I did see a difference in him," her high school sweetheart, "And when it got bad, it was awful."But when he started the program, "I saw the man that I knew forever, and I don't want him to ever go back. I want him to stay on this, and even though it has cost him his job, I would rather search for work and search for money than for him to go back to the way he was. I just really believe in this program.""It's sad that employers don't recognize the quality of life this medication gives back to the veterans," Stanley added, "We fight for other people to have quality of life, and we should be afforded that opportunity when we get back."Michael Kravitz, a disabled US Air Force Sergeant who served during the Cold War, has been an advocate for veterans' rights for years. Kravitz lamented what he called "treatment by geography," whereby a veteran in San Francisco, where medical marijuana is legal, may be treated better than one in Iowa, where no medical marijuana program exists. Pointing to decades of research into PTSD and marijuana, Kravitz said "the mechanisms of action" by which medical marijuana works to treat PTSD are more understood than other prescription medications. He said the federal government needs to reschedule marijuana so that its medical use is recognized.Dr. Florian Birkmayer of the Birkmayer Institute pointed to the terrible side effects, like suicidality and withdrawal, of PTSD medication which he said "are not that great," and lead to the piling on of medications. Certifying patients for medical marijuana, "The benefits I see are profound," he said, including increased functioning in work or school. He adds that "many veterans and other clients of PTSD self-medicate with alcohol and other hard drugs." Noting the "myth" that cannabis is a a gateway drug, Birkmayer said he has seen "hundreds of clients that because of safe, legal access to legal cannabis are able to stop using alcohol and other hard drugs to treat PTSD.""It's [because of] my commitment to the veterans that I want to help that I am going to continue certifying people for medical cannabis," he said.Newshawk: AfterburnerSource: AlterNet (US)Author:  Kristen Gwynne Published: July 10, 2013Copyright: 2013 Independent Media InstituteContact: letters Website: Medical Marijuana Archives
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Comment #4 posted by Hope on July 12, 2013 at 17:04:41 PT
I meant like they are apparently bright enough to read and write.I barely am, these days, it seems. I can't make a post since chemo, apparently, that doesn't have an error in it.Aaargh.
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Comment #3 posted by museman on July 12, 2013 at 10:58:52 PT
"I cannot understand how people that apparently bright in other ways can't comprehend the folly of their beloved but ignorant, foolishly ignorant policies"I can't see any brightness, only manufactured illumination. Not real. Not benevolent. Corruption does not know the light. I cannot give credit where none is due. They are all deserving of great Justice. None of them are worthy to kiss your feet, or mine.
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Comment #2 posted by Hope on July 12, 2013 at 10:00:24 PT
are creepy and dangerous to all. Why must they continue in their creepy, dangerous, expensive, deadly delight in prohibition? Why does it make them feel safer? It shouldn't. It really shouldn't. IIt's creepy because there is absolutely no good reason for it. And because it's about being a crazily cruel busy body. Big time. I cannot understand how people that apparently bright in other ways can't comprehend the folly of their beloved but ignorant, foolishly ignorant policies.I understand, somewhat, about the ignorant moron that would kill his own child over marijuana use, because he is a fool made to believe a lie by his "betters".It's a marvel, though. I have to admit that. A marvel like seeing the hills covered in the crosses mounted with the bodies of those they have crucified in their ungodly zeal to do whatever the hell it is they are trying to do.
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Comment #1 posted by museman on July 11, 2013 at 11:41:20 PT
no surprise here
Having lived with PTSD since 1971 -an unfortunate result from my up-close-and-personal experience with some Swift Boat 'survivors' as well as the brutal 'military mind' that beat my 18 year old soul into desperate submission- I have known all along that cannabis was the best treatment. There are no 'drugs' that work, only cannabis -which tones down the anger enough so that we might get the real cure; Love.But there is no love in the military, how could there be? There might be mistaken, or rudimentary forms of it , like comradery, and the false sense of 'family' that is given to the broken spirits as a kind of perverse salve to their broken-ness. And how does a vet, who swore to defend the people and the constitution against 'enemies foreign and domestic' justify the support of the travesty of justice known as the US Government? Those of us who actually read the constitution and know the history, are faced with the fact that public enemy number one is every lawyer, cop, judge, politician, and their many salaried minions that continue to create and maintain corruption for the edification of the wealthy few, and the misery of all the rest.The PTSD of our servicemen is the direct result of the inhumanity of the military mind set, which is in high demand in 'law enforcement.' Oh yes, going into copdom is an other 'cure' for PTSD, because the assholeness of being a mercenary for corporate conquest gets a red-carpet treatment for the ones who go into 'law.' And the 'treatment' for whatever residual guilty consciences from so much inhumanity? Alcohol. That is why the marriage success rate of cops and military is rather small, particularly with cops. Violence is a way of life for these people. Why do we think there is something worthy of respect?Yes, I was fooled once. I volunteered. But I can admit my stupidity in allowing the propaganda purchase in my consciousness. In fact without that admittance, I'd probably still be wearing that chip of false pride on my shoulder like so many wounded spirits do. I was stupid. I survived, and with the help of cannabis, the love of a good woman, and a relationship with the Most High, I grew past it, and put most of it behind me.Everyone I meet in the VA can see my PTSD -except the doctors, because they are responsible for determining a veterans 'level' of disability, so if they admit one thing, like PTSD, they have to give so many people compensation and service connected -which any vet knows is a very important designation- that the politicians would have to take a pay cut just to float it past the 'legislature.'Cannabis is the universal cure for just about everything except false beliefs, and the worship of Mammon and the Status Quo. It is the 'Plant of Renown" "An herb given for the Healing of Nations."Realize these truths, or get out of the way...please.LEGALIZE FREEDOM
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