U.S. veterans seem to be in the news more and more these days, and for good reason. Our state of perpetual war with multiple countries since 2001 has created a large segment of our society that has seen the worst humanity has to offer and have come back home unable to deal with what they experienced.
Our veterans have major problems, both physical and mental. They lived on constant alert for months and months at a time, dodged and escaped death, saw their friends killed or mutilated and they likely ended up with some sort of major bodily mutilation themselves; limbs missing, senses gone, their lives altered forever, and not in a good way.
Even if they escaped the physical damage, there is no escaping the mental damage. The suicide rate among veterans is much higher than the civilian rate, for obvious reasons. When veterans get back to the U.S they are subjected to the absolutely horrible services that the Veterans Administration provides. They are flooded with prescriptions for pills that will make them zombie-like or worse.
Not surprisingly, many veterans with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder are turning to cannabis. For some it helps the physical pain; for some it helps them sleep, relaxing them and keeping the nightmares at bay; for some it gives them an appetite for life that the wars and pills took away.
Critics say we don’t know the long-term effects of cannabis use on PTSD and that it might make their problems worse. And then doctors give them pills that clearly make many of their problems worse. Yes, study the issue as much as you want, but in the meantime, allow veterans to access the relief they choose without worrying about being branded a criminal.