by Sarah Schauerte
As many of you know, numerous states already allow veterans who suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder (“PTSD”) access to medical marijuana. Currently, twenty states (including Guam and Puerto Rico) permit medical marijuana to be used to treat PTSD. These include the following:
- New Jersey
- New Mexico
- North Dakota
- Rhode Island
- Washington, D.C.
- Puerto Rico
In addition to these states, other states are beginning to recognize medical marijuana as a legitimate means of treating PTSD. For example, laws to allow usage are in the works in Colorado, Georgia, and New Mexico. If you are a veteran or a family member who believes medical marijuana may be a viable method of treating PTSD (or if you have strong feelings against it), it may be worth looking into whether this is an item on the legislative agenda.
Furthermore, if you are an active military member, know that using medical marijuana may not be an option even if it is legal in your state. This because the military still considers marijuana a controlled substance. Someone in active duty caught using the drug could be punished and in most cases, processed for separation from the military. For someone who is not on active duty, it could still result in a discharge, which could close the door for future benefits and career options.
To be frank, medical marijuana for PTSD treatment is not an issue I have followed. I do, however, know that many have strong opinions one way or the other – some who say that it amounts to “self medication” (such as alcohol), and some who believe that it as viable a treatment method as a pill prescription. With 20 states already having signed legislation legalizing medical marijuana as treatment for PTSD, more will likely follow in the next few years.
If you’re interested in learning more about this subject – current state-based legislation, benefits and drawbacks, legal issues, etc., find a great resource here. And, as always, if you have opinions on this subject or know of further resources, please feel free to comment.
Lively discourse is, of course, legal everywhere.