As a Marine Corps veteran and a retired Veterans Affairs psychologist, I am joining those advocating for veterans with PTSD and those with other problems to have the option of using medical marijuana.
During my time with the VA, numerous combat veterans told me how much marijuana helped them deal with PTSD. Promising research in Israel on alleviating PTSD with marijuana supports the claims of our veterans who report it helps ease their PTSD.
The main argument against allowing medical marijuana in Mississippi seems based on the lack of solid research demonstrating it is not harmful. While a great deal of research shows the harmful health effects of tobacco smoking, there is a paucity of evidence showing that marijuana can cause such serious health problems when used in ways other than smoking.
How can veterans who answered our country’s call and are suffering as a result be denied access to a substance they believe can relieve their PTSD? What justification is there to stop someone experiencing PTSD symptoms from seeking relief through the use of marijuana?
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If our veterans can legally smoke tobacco and drink alcohol, why deny them the right to use marijuana if they feel it helps alleviate their PTSD?
Harold Dawley, past president of the National Association of Veterans Affairs Psychologists and the American Psychological Association’s Division of Psychologists in Public Service