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Friday, May 22, 2015

USA - Allow veterans to discuss medical marijuana with VA doctors

Sean almost died from his PTSD until he started using medical marijuana. He wants other vets to have the same chance, so he’s petitioning to lift the gag order that prevents VA doctors from discussing the drug with patients.
Everyday, 22 veterans take their own lives. In 2011, I was almost one of them. Like many veterans, I was diagnosed with post-traumatic-stress-disorder (PTSD) after serving with the Army where I witnessed violence and had friends lose their lives. Despite having a loving family, my PTSD was with me all the time and I was prescribed dozens of dangerous pharmaceutical drugs that just made things worse.
I wanted the pain from my PTSD to stop so badly, I tried to commit suicide by overdosing on pain pills. Thankfully, I survived. Desperate to save my family and my life, I tried medical marijuana as treatment for my PTSD. I’m positive that without it, I wouldn’t be here today. Medical marijuana is the only thing that I’ve found helps my PTSD -- reducing stress, anxiety, and depression -- without all of the side effects of the pharmaceutical drugs I was on.
But veterans like me are not even able talk about medical marijuana with doctors at Veterans Affairs hospitals. That’s because the federal government actually has a gag order in place that prevents VA doctors from giving medical marijuana advice to patients, even if they know it would help treat the patient's PTSD or other illness.
I think that’s unacceptable. I’m proof that medical marijuana works and so are many other veterans who use it to treat their PTSD. Shouldn’t we at least be allowed to talk with our doctors about this?
An amendment in Congress would have lifted this gag order but it failed to pass by only three votes last month. But there’s hope -- President Obama can issue an executive order that lifts the gag order.
We’re not asking for much. We just think that at a minimum, veterans who served our country should be able to discuss medical marijuana with our doctors. In the time it took to create this petition, an estimated five veterans took their own lives. We need to do more.
Please sign my petition asking President Obama and Congress to take action.
Letter to
President Barack Obama
I'm writing today to in support of the growing number of Veteran’s who feel the the federal policy regarding cannabis is devastating military families across the country.

I was saddened to learn that Congress will not, in the very least, allow veterans to consult Veterans Administration (V.A.) physicians about a potentially safer alternative to the dangerous pharmaceuticals which have been wreaking havoc on our community. Why have elected officials voted to keep us, our spouses, children, family members and friends suffering?

Please issue an executive order that lifts the gag order preventing VA doctors from discussing medical marijuana with their patients.

The bill Congress voted against would have authorized V.A. doctors to finally begin an honest conversation with Veterans that may have concluded in recommending cannabis. The bill they voted against would have definitively allowed those of us who rely on the V.A. for our healthcare to become cannabis patients in states where it is legal; still leaving those in non-legal states suffering. The bill they voted against would have finally allowed us to disclose cannabis therapy to the V.A., without fear of reprisal.

Please use your executive power to remove the gag from V.A. physicians so that we can regain a sense of normalcy in our life.

Thank you for your time and consideration.