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Thursday, October 27, 2011

Veterans Health Care: Vets with PTSD and Compassionate Cannabis Laws


In 2005, Psychiatrist Tod Mikuriya, MD, wrote:

“Approximately eight percent of the 9,000 Californians whose cannabis use I have monitored presented with PTSD (309.81) as a primary diagnosis. Many of them are Vietnam veterans whose chronic depression, insomnia, and accompanying irritability cannot be relieved by conventional psychotherapeutics and is worsened by alcohol. For many of these veterans, chronic pain from old physical injury compounds problems with narcotic dependence and side effects of opioids.

“Cannabis relieves pain, enables sleep, normalizes gastrointestinal function and restores peristalsis. Fortified by improved digestion and adequate rest, the patient can resist being overwhelmed by triggering simuli. There is no other psychotherapeutic drug with these synergistic and complementary effects.

“In treating PTSD, psychotherapy should focus on improving how the patient deals with resurgent symptoms rather than revisitation of the events. Decreasing vulnerability to symptoms and restoring control to the individual take priority over insight as treatment goals. Revisiting the traumatic events without closure and support is not useful but prolongs and exacerbates pain and fear of loss of control.”

As the leader of Veterans For Medical Cannabis Access [VMCA] I helped the VA create a medical marijuana policy that respects the rights of disabled Veterans using this important medicine according to state laws. That policy has been made to look like a cruel joke given the latest actions of this presidential administration.

In response to the actions of the president, our organization has crafted a petition that we have placed on the new White House, “We The People” website: http://wh.gov/4xd “Allow United States Disabled Military Veterans access to medical marijuana.”

The fact that a Veteran in New Mexico can use cannabis legally for PTSD, but a similar Veteran in Florida will face arrest and punishment at the VA hospital for using the same medicine is wrong. It is illogical. It is not the practice of medicine; it is the practice of politics on the wounded. It is shameful and must end! [2]

In 2008, there were over three hundred thousand backlogged disability claims involving veterans with PTSD and depression and that fact depresses me!

We owe our Veterans true support and that includes fighting for their right to obtain Medical Cannabis.

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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Agree.