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Bipartisan Bills Aim to Expand Veterans' Access to Medical Marijuana
by Causes
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  • UnapologeticallyAmerican
    Voted Support

    From 2002 to 2009 one million veterans left active duty in Iraq or Afghanistan and became eligible for VA care. That's a number that will rise annually, revealing a need for effective treatment of PTSD that cannot be overstated. PTSD remains an enormous consideration with combat veterans still serving in Afghanistan, where an estimated six to 11 percent are currently suffering symptoms of PTSD. Statistics among Iraq War veterans are more disturbing, with between 12 to 20 percent of returning vets suffering PTSD-related anxieties. Those are government statistics, and some non-governmental studies suggest that as many as one in every five military personnel returning from Iraq and Afghanistan could suffer various forms of PTSD. But while Veteran Affairs recognizes these facts and to its credit funds unconventional studies of PTSD, employing therapy dogs and yoga; veterans still endure a framework of care for PTSD that has not changed since 1980 when PTSD was added to American Psychiatric Association's dictionary of maladies. Federal agencies are clearly confused, unable to reconcile the illegality of marijuana with the benefits it could have on the lives of soldiers and their extended families. These issues are not being addressed in an open forum; instead, they remain hidden behind committee doors or special panels of anonymous voices with unknown prejudices. Medical marijuana remains one of the nation's biggest political hot potatoes, and when combined with our veterans' health creates a unique conundrum for politicians. Disturbingly, the people caught in this crossfire of self-interest are veterans who risked their lives for the system that may be stifling their medical options now.

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