US Veteran’s Battle: Get VA to Accept Marijuana for PTSD Treatment

Mike Krawitz, 56, is a disabled US Air Force veteran who believes in medical hashish’ capacity to save lives by holding individuals off the medicine with harmful and lethal unwanted side effects — primarily opioids.

Krawitz believes there’s a correlation between the variety of opioid prescriptions and suicides amongst veterans.

“Use cannabis, die less,” Krawitz informed Marijuana.com, his tone utterly critical. “The scientific group has confirmed that hashish saves lives by avoiding overdoses. VA [Veterans Administration] docs know this however are obliged not to advocate hashish for ache and PTSD. And that’s unethical..  

“Overdose and suicide…they’re onions we’ve only just started to peel,” Krawitz stated.

The US Department of Veterans Affairs’ Office of Suicide Prevention 2016 report discovered that a mean of 20 veterans dedicated suicide every day in 2014. According to a VA report final yr, danger of suicide amongst veterans is about 22 % larger than amongst non-veterans. And whereas the variety of drug overdoses amongst veterans is just not clear, the excessive quantity of veterans taking their very own lives is sufficient for veterans like Krawitz to battle for various remedies.

To Krawitz, the variety of lives misplaced to overdoses and suicides feels comparable to casualties throughout wartime.

“We should run a body count ticker in the media, like they do in times of war, to keep a running count of the numbers of veterans who commit suicide,” Krawitz advised.

This is the motivation behind Krawitz’s push for protected hashish entry alongside like-minded advocates with Veterans for Medical Cannabis Access, a corporation dedicated to defending veterans’ rights to protected and authorized entry to hashish remedies, as its government director.

And whereas Krawitz notes the VA isn’t in a simple place, saying that the “VA doctors may be allowed more breathing room in a legal medical marijuana state, but they are afraid to run afoul of the federal government,” he stands by his place that the VA ought to be contributing to medical hashish analysis quite than “ritually dumping deadly medications on vets that are killing them.”

Fortunately, there’s motion in that space.

The first federally accredited research on hashish and veterans with PTSD is presently in its second part in Arizona, underneath the auspices of Scottsdale-based researcher Dr. Sue Sisley. The research is a part of the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS).

While the triple-blind research has FDA approval, it’s getting no help from the VA.

“We could have finished this study probably a year ago if we had the cooperation of the Phoenix VA,” Dr. Sisley advised Phoenix tv stations KPHO and KTVK on May 10, 2018..

Meanwhile, veterans teams throughout the nation are constructing alliances to finish hashish prohibition so as to allow analysis and save lives.

Doctors for Cannabis Regulation (DFCR), launched in 2016, is the primary and solely nationwide physicians’ affiliation within the nation to endorse medical hashish. The California Medical Association was the primary to achieve this on a state degree.

“Before we launched, physicians were reluctant to publicly voice their opposition to the war on cannabis out of fear they’d be seen as condoning recreational pot use and violating their ethical responsibility to ‘do no harm,’” DFCR founder and board President Dr. David Nathan advised Marijuana.com. “But what’s legal is not always ethical and I’d rather get in trouble for doing what is right.”

And whereas the tide slowly begins to flip, in accordance to Krawitz, veterans are nonetheless topic to drug checks by the VA. Those discovered to have hashish of their methods might be “punished” by having their prescription ache drugs withheld by VA physicians.

On a day meant to honor the women and men who sacrificed their lives within the line of obligation, Krawitz  stated the VA unjustly denies veterans entry to safer medicinal providers.

“The VA should protect us, not punish us,” stated Krawitz.





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