A new campaign to expand medical marijuana access to veterans struggling with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) aims to spread awareness about the drug’s efficacy, while urging states with medical cannabis programs to include PTSD in their lists of conditions for which medical marijuana may be prescribed. The Freedom to Choose Campaign — launched by veterans, the Drug Policy Alliance, and elected officials — targets lawmakers, physicians, and employers to recognize marijuana as a safe, efficient alternative to other PTSD medications that may not work as well or cause troubling side effects. While they urge lawmakers to adopt legislation that protects veterans’ access to medical marijuana, the campaign targets Veteran Affairs (and other) doctors to recognize the benefits of medical marijuana for PTSD, and demands employers not discriminate against employers who are medical marijuana patients with PTSD.
Advocates for the campaign include New Mexico lawmakers Congressperson Michelle Lujan Grisham (D) and State Representative Antonio Maestas (D), who applaud their state for keeping PTSD a condition listed for medical marijuana use, despite a campaign to have it removed from the program, and urge other states to follow their lead. But even in New Mexico, PTSD patients using medical marijuana legally may face discrimination.
Iraq War veteran Augustine Stanley, an advocate for the Freedom to Choose campaign, was fired by the Bernalillo Metropolitan Detention Center for being a legal medical marijuana patient in New Mexico, one of few states that recognize PTSD as a condition for which medical pot may be prescribed. But he is determined to remain a patient, regardless of employer discrimination. “Being a part of the medical marijuana program has given me all the joys of life back,” Stanley said on a conference call for the press.
– Read the entire article at AlterNet.