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Let ‘Em Get Stoned

It’s 2015. Let ‘em get stoned

Prescription drug prices continue to rise. Skyrocketing addiction rates statistically tied to “pill popping” abuse, pills often prescribed to vets with post traumatic stress disorder symptoms and traumatic brain injuries. The rest of the country embraces medical marijuana. All logical reasons to allow medical marijuana to be considered as a treatment option for our VA Hospitals.

It’s like LGBT rights. It’s 2015. Let them be gay, straight, or transgender. Anything else is ignorance and goes against American principles the country was founded on.

And let the vets smoke pot like the rest of the world. Marijuana is dispensed legally to people without medical issues in many states, the number steadily rising. Studies show marijuana is an effective treatment for PTSD and other often-diagnosed medical issues plaguing veterans and might even reduce suicide rates and overdoses. This is a blurred line in the discussion of veteran suicides because it can be difficult to tell an accidental overdose from an intended suicide. Either way, it’s a problem.

The S.683 – Compassionate Access, Research Expansion, and Respect States Act of 2015 was introduced to the senate. One of the clauses “directs the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to authorize VA health care providers to provide veterans with recommendations and opinions regarding participation in state marijuana programs.” It was introduced to the Senate in March. What’s the hold up?

Part of the political process for passing these acts is the give and take between political parties, packing legislation into bills so everyone is happy.   Rep. John Schmuckatelly wants vets to have the same rights to medical marijuana other health care providers can offer. Rep. Billy Schmoe wants that too but he’s been trying to have a bill passed that makes it legal to club baby seals on the third Friday of November, and will vote for the legislation as long as baby seal clubbing language is added. So the battle begins, with all sides agreeing that vets should have the right to be prescribed and recommended medical marijuana. Discussing clubbing baby seals is on the table, however, and this will take months to resolve.

Drug cocktails, expensive and addictive, are coming under fire and scrutiny from medical professionals. Though the hike in drug prices may not overtly affect veterans, behind the scenes someone has to pull strings and cut losses to provide our vets with their much-needed medications. Why not pursue a natural solution? The studies are done, the myths debunked. Veterans suffering from war’s many scars are already getting stoned off of painkillers, the synthetic heroin of the masses. This backward logic that encourages prescribing powerful drugs and making the mild but effective solutions illegal is affecting the health of our nation’s heroes.

Let ‘em light up.

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