American Legion to Shulkin: We want cannabis research for vets with PTSD

gettyimages 175231438 American Legion to Shulkin: We want cannabis research for vets with PTSD

Teenager with joint looking depressed. (PYMCA/UIG via Getty Images)

By Abigail Hartley

The American Legion sent a letter to Veterans’ Affairs Secretary Dr. David Shulkin asking for his “direct involvement” in making cannabis research a priority at the VA.

The letter from newly-elected national commander Denise Rohan, dated Sep. 19, affirmed the Legion’s longtime support of the VA and reminded Shulkin of the many advances in medicine that had come out of the Bureau, including three Nobel Prize-winning breakthroughs.

Then, it cited a FDA-approved study currently underway in Arizona studying the effects of marijuana on veterans with chronic PTSD.

“The research being conducted by the Scottsdale Institute is the first cannabis-based research of its kind conducted in the United States and could potentially produce scientific evidence that will enhance, improve, and save the lives of veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder,” the letter read.

“Many veterans have approached us to tell us that access to cannabis has materially improved their health and well-being. While their stories are very compelling, we need clinical evidence to have a fact-based discussion on the future of cannabis policy.”

The American Legions DC Twitter account supported the letter with a slew of tweets in support of medical marijuana, drawing from diverse sources ranging from public figures like Peter Thiel to members of Congress and even President Trump.

This push from the American Legion comes at a critical time for the legal status of cannabis. Just hours after the letter became public, Attorney General Jeff Sessions confirmed that marijuana is still illegal on a federal level, adding to suspicions that a federal crackdown from his office is on the way.

Cannabis is currently legal for recreational use in eight states and the District of Columbia. Another 20 states allow medical marijuana for certain illnesses – in many cases, including PTSD.

Read the full letter from the American Legion to Sec. Shulkin here:


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