Trump Administration betrays 40,000 veterans

(TFC) – President Trump and his Attorney General are moving to restart the failed war on drugs and will be targeting marijuana in areas the states have deemed it legal. Too cowardly to face the consequences of their actions, the dynamic duo of drug deterrence have pawned the responsibility off on federal prosecutors. In the process, the President who pretends to care about the military and veterans is betraying no less than 40,000 veterans who suffer from PTSD and use cannabis.

The medicinal uses of marijuana, especially in regards to PTSD, are apparent unless you’re in the pocket of private prisons or pharmaceutical companies.

Contrary to what the out-of-touch suits in Washington might believe, those advocating for medical marijuana are not just a bunch of reefer-crazed hippies. The American Legion, the largest veterans’ group in the United States, is in favor of medical marijuana. The membership of the American Legion is spread out over more than 10,000 individual chapters (called “posts”) and typically holds conservative leanings, but it brought forth resolutions at its national convention supporting marijuana in 2016 and 2017. Both passed. 

According to the American Legion, 22% of veterans currently use cannabis to treat a medical condition and 83% of all veterans support the legalization of medical cannabis.

Thomas Brennan was an infantryman in Iraq and Afghanistan. He penned an op-ed for the New York Times about cannabis. He recalled the pills given to him and detailed how they didn’t work. He wrote about his apprehension regarding using pot after a friend suggested it.

“In 2013, a friend rolled a joint and handed it to me, urging me to smoke it later. It will relieve your symptoms, he promised. That night I anxiously paced around my empty house. I hesitated to light it up because I’d always bought into the theory of weed as a “gateway drug.” But after a few tokes, I stretched out and fell asleep. I slept 10 hours instead of my usual five or six. I woke up feeling energized and well rested. I didn’t have nightmares or remember tossing or turning throughout the night, as I usually did.”

He went on to detail some raw data.

“The medical benefits of marijuana for the more than 360,000 post-Sept. 11 veterans who have brain injuries are not universally recognized. (As many as one in five veterans are thought to have post-traumatic stress.) But medical experts like Dr. Frank Ochberg, a psychiatrist and former associate director of the National Institute of Mental Health, believe that ‘medical marijuana absolutely belongs in the pharmacy for post-traumatic stress and brain injury treatment.’ The V.A., Dr. Ochberg said, ‘is failing veterans by not making cannabis a treatment option.'”

The science behind legal pot is clear. States with legal marijuana have fewer opioid deaths. That’s the real plague currently sweeping the nation. Access to medical marijuana means less painkiller abuse and overdose. There is less opioid use among those suffering from chronic pain if they use medical marijuana.

It might be possible to forgive the Administration’s failures and betrayal of veterans, if someone believed those in office, who are once again selling out vets, didn’t know of these findings and studies conducted outside of government auspices. The problem, of course, is the fact the Department of Veterans Affairs detailed the correlation of 40,000 PTSD and pot users more than three years ago.

Make no mistake, the President and his Attorney General are aware they are selling out those who served. They just don’t care. Not all of the wounds of war are visible. This Administration only cares about what is visible and what it can politicize. While the President tweets about disrespecting veterans because someone didn’t stand for the anthem, his Attorney General is pushing to deny veterans the medicine that works. I wonder if Trump will tweet about the increase in suicides of vets because of his betrayal.

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