Veterans Affairs Secretary Shulkin Admits Medical Cannabis "May Be Helpful"
The American Legion, representing millions of American military veterans, has come out strongly in favor of testing and availability of medicinal cannabis for veterans who are suffering from a variety of war-related injuries.
"After 16 years of war in Afghanistan and Iraq, many Americans view post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD, and traumatic brain injury, or TBI, as the “signature” wounds of these conflicts. The Department of Veterans Affairs has spent billions of dollars to better understand the symptoms, effects, and treatments for these injuries. But despite advances in diagnostics and interventions in a complex constellation of physical, emotional, behavioral and cognitive defects, TBI and PTSD remain leading causes of death and disability within the veteran community."
For many veterans, the results of devastating injuries, poor understanding of post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and depression, and a variety of onerous side effects caused by opioids, in particular, cause about 20 former service people to commit suicide each day. This disgraceful statistic must be solved. The American Legion continued:
"The Trump administration should lead a new effort to combat opioid abuse, and it should include the elimination of barriers to medical research on cannabis."
in press conference this week, VA Secretary David Shulkin, who is also a medical doctor, was asked “As a physician, what’s your opinion?” [on medicinal cannabis and the effects of federal prohibition]:
To which Shulkin responded:
“My opinion is, is that some of the states that have put in appropriate controls, there may be some evidence that this is beginning to be helpful. And we’re interested in looking at that and learning from that. But until the time that federal law changes, we are not able to be able to prescribe medical marijuana for conditions that may be helpful.”
image source for David Shulkin photo: Susan Walsh, Associated Press
WATCH THE VIDEO OF THE SPEECH: