Why Veterans Struggling with PTSD Want Access to Medical Marijuana

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.



  1. Anonymous on

    I am a medical provider who specializes in the treatment of PTSD. I specialize in adults recovering from severe child abuse. Thank God in the state I practice, PTSD is recognized as a medical condition where patients may benefit from cannabis. I think it is only a matter of time before the research gets out there…personally, as a survivor and patient with PTSD, my family and friends would move me to another State before denying me of this medicine that we are all so grateful for. My symptoms are almost non-existant as long as I take my meds, and family life is happy. Without the meds , I become quite ill. It is sad that we still live in a time that the only med that really works for PTSD survivors is cannabis and those of us laywers,doctors,teachers, bankers, nurses , mothers,fathers,children who suffer from this condition must talk about their cannabis use in the private rooms of therapists offices- but can never disclose to their family,friends etc. for fear of arrest, destroying careers,etc. For those of us who do not live in a state where cannabis is recognized as medicine for PTSD we must obtain our meds on the street. How unsafe and humiliating ……………………………………. Thank God Marc is coming home. We PTSD survivors need you!!

  2. Son of Sam Walton on

    If we don’t support these guys, then they won’t support us . . . they’ll be left out in the cold and not knowing the full facts in regards to the War on Drugs (which created 9/11 via drug money). Our current generation of vets have more in common with the ‘End the War on Drugs’ movement than they do with the government . . . they are the ones who grew up with CC and High Times and smoking weed with their friends . . . Cheech & Chong, Wu-Tang Clan, Half Baked, Kotton Mouth Kings, ICP, Snoop, Dre, Eminem, Pantera, Willie Nelson, Dazed and Confused, The Doors etc etc. They are not your grandfather’s or your father’s military. The military smokes pot.

    If we fail them today, then the pursuit of a normal civilian life with a civilian job will lead to drug tests and they will put down the pipe for a good job and pick up the booze instead . . . just like what the Hippies and their children did –giving up freedom for a Piss Test and the Middle Class yuppie life. Now is the day we say no more drug testing for this group.

    If vets can get this (since Vets are just as powerful as the politicians because they are more respected amongst the citizens and the politicians than even NORML is), it will throw away the stereotypes of cannabis smokers being drug addicts and pot heads. If you ever wanted the chance to make a less hypocritical and tyrannous government, then the Post-9/11 Vets will be some of our strongest allies and we must teach them what they don’t know and likewise, they will teach the people because their voice is louder in American society due to the nature and respect of being a modern vet. Remember it was the American Vet who freed the slaves and freed Europe and Asia from the Nazis and the Imperial Japanese . . . they freed the Koreans from the North, so there remains hope that one day our military will have more credibility when it comes to democracy, peace and freedom.

    Only the people with silent voices and dollars for taxes pay for WAR and the War on Drugs. We’re not perfect, but teach a man to fish I say. Show the Vet the kind of country you want him to fight for and speak up for . . . don’t let the Pro-Drug War enthusiast have the last word. Remember, who we fought in Iraq and Afghanistan were well funded with drug money and does anyone know that drug money comes from prohibition? Only the DEA would not support Vets for Medical Pot, just like the DEA supported the Taliban and Al Qaeda with drug money from their illegal drug prohibition. Remember, if you refused to help your neighbor, is your neighbor more or less likely to help you . . . be the example Cannabis Community –open up their eyes. I was a loyal pot user before and after I saw 9/11 on the beginning of my Freshman year in college (2001 high school grad) and thus went to war . . . there are thousands of me in uniform today and out of uniform today.