Many veterans’ have a love / hate relationship with marijuana.

For those vets that were given a waiver before boot camp, it’s usually love. I’ve heard a plethora of opinions surrounding cannabis from salty Sgt’s to Lance Corporal’s wifes. But the opinion that truly matters is the one that comes from Washington. As for now the VA follows the letter of the law concerning cannabis as it is federally illegal, however, according to the VA’s website, “Veteran’s who participate in State-Approved Medical Marijuana programs will not be denied healthcare.”

All the supposed negative effects , but over time and experience one learns to look at the full picture of facts for logical analysis. Not only are the negative effects mostly lies, but the positive effects are so many that they simply cannot be overlooked.

In recent years tired of paying exuberant prices for pharmaceuticals have begun looking at alternative medicine.

Marijuana high in Cannabidiol (CBD), concentrates, and edibles, are just a few ways that the cannabis industry has attempted to tap into that market. Interesting new consumer and grower products alike have been coming out in high volume in recent years making this a high point for the 7 billion dollar marijuana industry in North America.

There are alternative therapies available that aim to help veterans that suffer from Post Tramatic Stress.

 While it is almost impossible to find subsidized studies concerning marijuana, the FDA also seeks alternatives.

According to the Federal Drug Administration’s website, “The FDA has approved Marinol and Sundros for therapeutic uses in the United States..Marinol and Syndros include the active ingredient dronabinol, a synthetic delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) which is considered the psychoactive component of marijuana.” However advocates of natural cannabis such as Paul Armentano of NORML disagree with the chemical approach to psycho-actives. “…several other cannabinoids available in cannabis – in addition to naturally occurring terpenoids (oils) and flavonoids (phenols) – have also been clinically demonstrated to possess therapeutic utility.”

While the stigma that surrounds medical Cannabis diminishes, many states are legalizing and vets are paying attention.

There are many different opinions on cannabis from personal feelings and experiences to facts and concrete research. According to businessinsider.com,

“In New Mexico, PTSD is the number one reason for people to get a license for medical marijuana, but this is the first time the U.S. government has approved a proposal that incorporates smoked or vaporized marijuana, which is currently classified by the government as a drug with no accepted medical applications.”

In the U.S. specifically, patients are fighting for their rights to use medical cannabis. Back in 2014, Congress passed legislation to prohibit federal drug agents from raiding retail operations, in turn protecting the rights of those medicinal users. Although raids continue on retailers in states like California, the legislation seems to be holding up for the most part. The biggest problem for retailers continues to be marijuana’s federally scheduling.

Technically to be considered a schedule one drug it cannot have any medicinal benefits. As stated by the Drug Enforcement Administration’s website,

“Schedule 1 drugs, substances, or chemicals are defined as drugs with no currently accepted medical use and high potential for abuse. Some examples of schedule 1 drugs are: heroin, lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD), marijuana (cannabis), 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (ecstasy), methaqualone, and peyote.”

This scheduling of cannabis supposedly not having medicinal benefits doesn’t just seem wrong. However, until marijuana research is allowed at the federal level and verifiable evidence is reached cannabis will likely continue to be vilified.  The real fight that proponents of cannabis have is to have cannabis changed from a schedule 1 drug.