According to recent studies released from the Veterans Health Administration, from a sample of 60,000 post-9/11 veterans, roughly one in six fall into the category of having mild to extreme forms of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. (PTSD) To make matters worse, returning veterans often turn to powerful opiates in order to medicate the physical and mental affects of being under long term exposure to war.
Although medical marijuana has always been prohibited by Veterans Affairs, a new bill proposed by lawmakers would allow veterans to have access to medical marijuana as an extension of their medical benefits program.
The Veterans Equal Access bill, proposed by Reps. Dana Rohrabacher, R-Calif., and Earl Blumenaur, D-Ore would permit the Veterans Affairs Department doctors and health care providers to complete the needed documentation in order to participate in state sponsored medical marijuana programs.
The proposal seems long overdue for an issue that has virtually been swept under the rug, despite statistics pointing that suicide rates and opiate dependency are on the rise. Proposal advocates such as Rohrabacher believe that the current VA stance on medical marijuana is "unconscionable".
"Our antiquated drug laws must catch up with the real suffering of so many of our veterans," Rohrabacher said to the Military Times. "This is now a moral cause and a matter of supreme urgency."
To add to the absurdity of veterans not being able to access marijuana currently, no official studies have been conducted on PTSD yet , although the Colorado Board of Health will consider a recommendation for research on Dec. 17 in order to back up the bill.