Friday, February 28, 2014

Support the Troops – Let Them Treat PTSD with Cannabis

Alex Pietrowski
Activist Post

It’s a tough time to be a US military veteran. Not only is there no end in sight for US foreign interventions, but the economy here at home is in terrible shape, veterans are seeing record numbers of suicides, extremely high levels of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), nearly a million US vets are on food stamps, and to make matters worse, veteran’s benefits are being cut by the Federal government, again.

On top of this, it appears that the US Public Health Service (PHS) is stone-walling legitimate and legal efforts by the FDA and the University of Arizona to study how the natural medicine Cannabis may be of significant value in treating PTSD.
PTSD is considered a life-threatening illness, as people suffering from PTSD are at increased risk of homelessness, drug abuse and alcoholism, and are more likely to commit suicide.
Cannabis has, in recent years, gained tremendous popular and legal support as both a valid a medicine for many physical and psychological ailments, and recreational substance for the general public.

The Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS), a non-profit research and educational organization that develops medical, legal, and cultural contexts for people to benefit from the careful uses of psychedelics and marijuana has recently issued an alert that the US Public Health Service (PHS) is blocking a study on the benefits of Cannabis as an effective and natural treatment for PTSD. Arguing for years that psychedelic medicines have profound and scientifically validated healing effects for psychological problems associated with combat, MAPS is calling on the public for support in their efforts to pursue further research in this area:
A Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and University of Arizona Institutional Review Board (IRB)-approved protocol for a study of marijuana for symptoms of PTSD in U.S. veterans, sponsored by the non-profit Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS), has been on hold for over 3½ months, as researchers wait for the PHS to respond to their request to purchase marijuana for the study.

MAPS goes on to clarify the matter further in a recent press release:
Thousands of veterans and other medical marijuana patients nationwide use marijuana to treat symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), but the U.S. Public Health Service (PHS) is blocking researchers who are seeking to learn more about the risks and benefits of the treatment…
The study would explore the safety and effectiveness of smoked and/or vaporized marijuana for 50 U.S. veterans with chronic, treatment-resistant PTSD. Animal studies have already shown that marijuana helps quiet an overactive fear system, but no controlled clinical studies have taken place with PTSD patients.
MAPS notes that this study could provide doctors with more options for treating PTSD patients who’ve “been unresponsive to traditional therapies,” says Rick Doblin, Ph.D., Executive Director of MAPS.

The bulletin offers insight into the role the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) is playing in the effort to prevent this research that aims to directly benefit our nation’s most affected ex-soldiers, while citing conflicting policies regarding the clinical research of Schedule I drugs, which includes Cannabis.
The PHS marijuana review process exists only because the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) has a Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA)-protected monopoly on the supply of marijuana legal for use in FDA-regulated research. This additional review is not required for research on any other Schedule I drug.
MAPS resubmitted a revised protocol on Oct. 24, 2013, after the original protocol was rejected by the PHS in September, 2011. Unfortunately, unlike the FDA, which must respond to submissions within 30 days of receiving them, the PHS has no such time limit. Meanwhile, the PHS is successfully preventing FDA and IRB-approved research from taking place.
“The stifling of medical research on marijuana stands in the way of our vets returning to a normal life,” says Dr. Sue Sisley, who would lead the study.

Other research into this area has already concluded that Cannabis is indeed a potent and effective medicine for reducing the negative long-term affects associated with combat stress:
Another fascinating discovery, one with implications for PTSD, is that the cannabinoid system is integrally related to memory, specifically to memory extinction. Memory extinction is the normal, healthy process of removing associations from stimuli. [Source]
Cannabis is available in some states for the treatment of PTSD; however, “many states still do not count PTSD as a disorder that warrants a medical marijuana card. Because of this, veterans are seeking other legal and non-legal ways to procure weed,” writes Thor Benson of Vice. Veterans should not, in any state, have to risk breaking the law in search for relief from a psychological condition incurred while directly serving the US government.

The fact that the government would prevent research of a natural medicine for the cure of PTSD speaks volumes about our government’s overall lack of interest in a genuine commitment to the mental health and wellness of our soldiers after returning from combat zones. Now that Cannabis legalization is should be made more widely available to doctors as a remedy for PTSD.

Whatever your opinion of the US government and US military, it is a sad reality that America’s troops are treated poorly by the federal government and have few options for prosperity after serving in the armed forces today. Additionally, observers of history would do well to note that it is dangerous for a free society to have so many disaffected ex-soldiers amongst the population, especially at a time when we have a growing police state here at home.

For more information on this issue, please contact: 

Brad Burge
MAPS Director of Communications
831-429-6362 x103

Adam Eidinger
Mintwood Strategies
(202) 744-2671

Alex Pietrowski is an artist and writer concerned with preserving good health and the basic freedom to enjoy a healthy lifestyle. He is a staff writer for, where this first appeared, and an avid student of Yoga and life.

This article may be re-posted in full with attribution.


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Anonymous said...

Support the troops - don't send 'em to the other side of the world to kill people who never intended to hurt them, for the profit of psychopaths.
PTSD is less likely to happen, IMHO, if you are defending your own, not attacking others for no good reason
Make defense, not offence their true function.
Better still, end all wars, which means dismantling the systems of government we have at present.
Without so called 'leaders' no one could be lead into war.

Anonymous said...

You know, really getting tired of the "hoorah, support our troops" stuff. Let's all give a salute to those who have "served their country.

They are not special and unique.

You know, as a social worker who did forensic evaluations of and testified in court as an expert witness on behalf of many, domestically sexually/physically abused children, well, where's the standing ovation for that? Do I not deserve equal and respectful recognition for serving the children of my own country?

No, we continued to aggrandize the entitlements and victimhoods of soldiers who VOLUNTARILY signed up to go on over and kill millions of innocent women, children and men for corporate profit.

Let's stop with the patriotic zombie stuff and get our priorities straight.

When someone can explain to me why killing others in a uniform should be heralded as bravery over working doggedly to protect the safety of our own children in our own country (which is what I chose to do) well, then, maybe I will start listening. If you have an explanation for this grotesque imbalance of values, please, do write.

Otherwise, sit down and and shut up, soldiers and all you pom pom, cheerleading soldier girls.

You signed up for the money (yup, many received over $100,000 for "re-upping" to go on out and, again, kill innocent people for the sugar daddy corporations). That is morally reprehensible.

So stop whining and making a spectacle of yourselves. it's embarrassing to you. have some dignity, take your hits like the rest of us and remain satisfied, if you can (which I doubt) that, in your heart of hearts, you did the right thing. I did. Right here at home, with NO benefits nor cheering, really. did you do that, soldier kids? I don't think so.

Grow up and stop your entitled victimhood whining about how you are being abused by the system. I know hundreds of thousands of children who have suffered far more than you. And tens of thousands here in our own country who try to help them for almost nothing.

Really tired of the aggrandizement of war and those who perpetrate it. NONE of you soldiers deserve anything more than the rest of us. Okay? Your time would have been much better spent staying at home with your own families rather than going out and killing other families in foreign lands.

disgusted by the military and those who serve it.

Anonymous said...

Superior comment, anon@4:28 PM.

Encouraging to know you are in the audience.

Hide Behind said...

@ ANON Feb 28 7:16
I am so glad that you wrote as you did and I agree that there are millions of people working in ways that truly strengthen our communitys.
The hyping of our military has gotten into realms of mysticism and pagan religious practices; So overbearing that they over shadow the hard workings of millions of Americans and by their barbarism have truly helped destroy this nation.
All those who understand the real workings of such as Anon @7:16 have always done and then to think of the tens of millions who do great creative works and never get true recognition for their contributions towards improving not just their own lives but so many others they will never see.
Beyond the hype and patriotic bullshit being in the military is a very simple lifestyle and today is vastly over paid and compensated occupation. They kill for corporates and are paid well for doing so and when they get even a little bit fucked up they cry like hell for not the corporTions to pay but steal from the working peoples treasury
I once was tougher than tough and no physical pain that I could not endure but after volunteering just three days at a hospital for children I asked to be placed in an portion where I did not need to see children dying.
I have packed maimed and dead friends had blood all over me trying to save mens limbs and lives never hit me as hard as those children smiling as the fought just to exist.
There are hundreds who work at that hospital that are paid but there are about 100 a day volunteers and two or three times a year almost all of Oregons High schools have drives too raise funds.
THAT ONE HOSPITAL AND THOSE THOUSANDS OF Oregon residents are true american s ; no not heros in their eyes but in mine.
I have seen no act by a military u iform that can compare to what is possible by those Oregonians actions.
And no fucking man in uniform is fighting for their rights or supporting any fucking thing but their own small world as they support one of most corrupt regimes on this earth.
Most people are contributing each in own ways; I met a public transit Bus Driver who drove hundreds of thousands of safe miles who upon retirement volunteered to drive for Catholic charitys, and a retired school teaher who took just about half her pension to buy needy andvqualified students their own instruments, she was almost totally deaf but the music she sees is in the childs demeanors as they play.
Yes time to put back the pagans and damned chridtion zio ist whose tax rip offs promote their own bigotry snd blood lust by using our military as they seek Armageddon.

Anonymous said...

Comments by both first and second posts are exactly correct.
Our misplaced patriotic conditioning to admire the modern military as great defenders iis just an example of the top parasites using them as dumb brutes to do their dirty work.

Just as mentioned, these men... no boys and girls, signed up for the money and the opportunity to play real life call to duty video games.

Besides, the top parasites have invested a lot of money in to training, conditioning, drugging, and then relocating these military owned biological machinery experiments to become abusive cops here in the US.

How bad, and blatant must it get before the people realize those in charge are not in their right minds.

The continuation of tolerating these insane people make the rest of the world think we are just as crazy

Anonymous said...

the problem would be your discreminated from 95% of jobs for having canabis in your system medical or not

Anonymous said...

Marijuana has been shown to help with PTSD over and over. Of course since it cannot be patented and produce profit for the Pharma Corp it remains illegal. One way to end this madness is to insist on the rule of law being strictly adhered to. Senate candidate Cruz stated this recently in a speech pointing out the inconsistency prevalent in the enforcement community. If for instance, we really were subscribing to the rule of law drugs would soon be legalized. Due to the current malicious prosecution of the less moneyed in comparison to the lack of prosecution of the connected and wealthy the system is simply unfair. There is a massive disconnect between justice and the courts and it begs the question; are we a nation governed by law or a nation governed by men.
If we became again a nation governed by laws and as soon as some of these people get prosecuted the same way as the poor and indigent are there will magically be a turnaround in the nation’s drug laws.
The same is true with the “too big to fail” banks and the “too big to jail’ power brokers currently running this country to the ground. Imagine the oil companies actually having to answer for the spills and destruction they cause. And, maybe we could question the designers and company executives about being held responsible for the flawed design of the nuclear plant in Japan. Imagine getting some straight answers about chem-trails once we reestablish the rule of law.
This country was not founded and the Constitution enacted so only the general population have to obey the law and others who are the rich and powerful are exempt. No, if a law is good for the people then all people must follow it. If that is not satisfactory then procedures are put in place to change the law. It is inherently wrong in a free society to have vague prejudicial laws and arbitrary enforcement. All these laws regulating human behavior would soon be abolished at about the time some power brokers gets busted for gambling, prostitution, drugs or driving under the influence and has to serve the same sentence as the guy in the trailer park received for the same offence. Notice, all the crimes I listed were behaviors which generated no victims. This may be the whole point.
No victim, no crime. What a revolutionary idea. It goes the constitutionally recognized right to pursue life, liberty and happiness. Funny how these pursuits have become criminal.

Anonymous said...

From Anon 7:16pm

Thank you all for "getting" the point I was making. It is risky to pierce the veils of illusion/delusion and just say it like it is. I have to say I was afraid to put it out there and relieved that so many more are understanding the issue. I had to stand up in naming courage versus complacency and just zombie obeisance to an idea fed to us my gov/msm/etc.

Our government long took over the idea of "warrior"- in my view adult men and women united for mature and just causes - long ago and manipulated the term to describe what are really just vacuous, boy/girl "soldiers" willing to just do what they are told. Thus, I have absolutely NO tolerance for the soldiers now coming out of the bunkers in NV, having spent years droning other people to death from a distance, and refusing to work up some kind of sympathy for them. Had they used their empathy and compassion in the first place, they would have chosen the courageous thing and refused to push those murdering buttons. Don't waste my time with their whining "confessions" now. Okay? You did it. You own it. And you have to live with it yourself.

Discernment is key, as well as an interest in linguistics and a refusal to just go with the offered narrative.

We are seriously disconnected from humane values here and, just had to point out the errors of our current values.

At any rate, thank you all for your support of the views that I wrote. We really do have to re-adjust our morals, ethics and values if we are ever, again, to rise to our best as a country. Let's just all commit to do it, one moment at a time.

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