Veterans Say Marijuana Works Best for PTSD

It is unfortunately quite common for members of our military to return from the battlefield suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). “Charlie,” who asked the news service AlterNet not to use his real name in a recent interview, is one of them. On top of a 100 percent disability rating with PTSD, Charlie returned home from Afghanistan with a traumatic brain injury, a back injury, and gastrointestinal problems. Veterans Affairs did everything it could to treat him and to ease his pain, but nothing worked.

What did work was using marijuana, which Charlie says has been the best pain management he’s found. “Me and the rest of my veterans’ group talk about it all the time,” he says. “Most of them also medicate with marijuana. If you asked any of us what, out of everything, was most effective in PTSD treatment, we would tell you marijuana.” But since VA is a federal agency, it is prohibited from recommending or dispensing marijuana, even in the 13 states where medical marijuana is legal.

Supporting our troops, especially when they return home from battle is an issue I think everyone can get behind. So, why is the federal government not allowing our troops to use the medicine that works best for them?

65 thoughts on “Veterans Say Marijuana Works Best for PTSD”

  1. LCpl USMC MJ is ok for anxiety and all but the memories don’t go away. The hate is still there and always will be, It should be. All of us Were devoted too bieng there and wish to still be there. Only a chicken shit coward wants to be at home. Our problem is sounds, smells and shit like that so,, I guess weed helps calm the triggers, not the memories and the dreams and definitly not the HATE!

  2. Sorry to all injured, I don’t mean to be cruel in word or form, Just heal and get back to the fight if you can. We all do what we can for our pain and what not but ,If I could, I would have gone back a long time ago.

    Fuck ‘em and let em all burn in hell

  3. Perhaps some of the representatives on Capital Hill are afraid they’ll lose their Morphine and Oxycontin when a safer and far less intoxicating drug is becoming popularly introduced.

  4. I served. 10th Mountain and 2ID. 13f201P was my MOS.

    I’m in agreement with our friend “Charlie.”

  5. Question on this issue, I am a disabled vet but do not have a prescription for medicinal jane but do use to help me cope with pain. I have my first VA Medical appt tomorrow, will they drug test me? And if so and I test positive will they take away my monthly compensation?

  6. I started smoking in 1969, in Viet Nam, and I have tried to do it the VA’s way with their drugs, but nothing has helped me with PTSD like pot. Natures cure-all. I have smoked longer than most people I know have been alive and all the hype that was put out about pot being a “BAD” thing is simply not true.

  7. I do not think anyone here can achieve their goals by bad mouthing Mr. Richard G. Lugar United States Senator or other government officials. Most people do not open up and listen to others that start out by calling them offensive names. I do not know for a fact that Mr. Lugar read the report that he commented on himself. It may be that he was briefed on this report by someone else (and in someone else’s words). That happens to be the case many times with CEOs and government officials. If that is the case, if that is what happened, I think it would have been a wiser choice if he had read this report personally before referring to it. It is too easy to prove someone right or wrong with the internet today.
    After stating the above, I would like for it to be known that I support the use of medical marijuana. I have family members that I truly believe would benefit from its medical purposes, as I believe many other people would. And I rally to that cause. However, I think it would benefit everyone that supports the use of marijuana to back themselves up with information on facts and education rather than name calling. You can not apply a negative solution to a problem and hope to come up with positive results.
    I encourage everyone to continue voicing their support for this cause, but don’t do it in a way where people will not listen to you.
    Thank you

  8. I too am a 100% disabled vet with PTSD. I smoke to ease my pain and mental anguish. I returned from Iraq in 2004 with back problems, PTSD, intestinal problems, all over body pain much like fibromyalgia, eyesight problems, and many more. I fought in the name of “Freedom” now where is my “FREEDOM” to relieve my pain and suffering. Just for the record I was perfectly healthy before going to Iraq. It’s quite frustrating from a Combat Vet point of view. We deal with the pain and suffering for fighting for the “rights” of all, for once I would like to see politicians fight for our “rights”. The problem lies within the root, “RIGHT” too many people are worried about money and political status or hurting the feelings of non-citizens who didn’t fight, but demand rights. Not all politicians feel this way, but in case you didn’t notice we live in the United States, where it is the people’s choice not the politicians, they are meerly our voice. It shouldn’t matter what their opinion is, they say what we want them to say no matter what their personal opinion is. This is our Country we need to stand for our rights it is all too obvious they will not. Do what is “RIGHT” not what is profitable.

    Free the weed and veteran healthcare sucks, it’s the worst system of all.

  9. I have MS not PTSD, but Smoking helps ease pain caused from spasms. The VA will not prescribe ANY pain relievers for me because I test positive for THC. That being said MD has a law, the Feds are backing off prosecution and congress is finally allowing a 10yr old law to take effect. One would think that the va would treat pain. I also have pinched nerves at L-5 in my back. I have had to pay to goto an outside pain service to get the treatment that I am supposed to be entitled to.

  10. I am a veteran who served in Iraq and have no problem stating publicly that I am on disability for PTSD and that Marijuana is the ONLY thing that stopped the dreams, the sounds and smells. I too asked for help at the V.A. and was at one time taking 11 different medications on a daily basis. None worked and all had side affects that were nearly as debilitating as PTSD. I started smoking and stopped taking their pills and finally have some normalcy in my life again. It was a last ditch effort for me. If the pipe didnt work the pistol was next. I am alive right now because of weed. I am begging anyone who might be reading this who is in a similar situation or knows someone who is to try it. It can save your life.

  11. I server in baghdad from 07-08 with 1st id… After that i came home had a motor cycle accident and lost my ankle so now i have ptsd and depression. When i smoke i feel so good and happy it makes me want to cry because i try so hard to be a better person and this problem i have the army just wanted to pump me with pills and shrinks. Im retired now and i smoke on a regular basis. I just wish things werent so hard for all of us it sucks, sitting in our rooms all alone left with nothing but terrible memories i can never force from my brain.

    Do what works for you i found inside that if it makes me happy no one should be able to touch that they dont have the right.

    thanks for listening

  12. I suffer from PTSD, not for the same reasons as our soldiers, but from childhood sexual abuse and from losing my unborn son. I take antidepressants, but they do not help. I also have Fibromyalgia and a rare blood disease limiting the medications I can take. Marijuana is the only thing that has made me feel better both physically and mentally. The problem with the legalization of marijuana for medicinal or even recreational purposes is that society focuses on the harmful effects of smoked marijuana. If we really want to see progress in the medicinal marijuana and recreational marijuana movement we have to focus on vaporized used of marijuana or the eatable use of marijuana. Both of these methods have no negative health effects making it more difficult for the opposition to argue against legalizing it. I hope to one day live in a world where I am truly free to express myself.

  13. i served in Iraq from 03 to 05 ran missions with the 278th, 252mp ,101st, and 1id .I’m not the speller i ones was so work with me . i have been to kewate,bagdad and up the borders of iran.put down many miles on foot potrol. was a 50cal gunner for a long time where i was hit by many ieds got knocked out a few time thrown from the humvee one time and ran alot of black hawk snach and grabs still miss that black hole. i cant hear out of my left ear very good anymore i got a veddbra in my back that they want to take out and put some plastic thing in(dont think so) and sever Ptsd.was in baladruse one day a car driven ied went off on market street it went off next to 3 iraq police truck jst happened to be some buddys of ours the bomb went off all three trucks went into a million pieces and the car bomber it was a busy day people and body parts went flying everywhere there was a large crowed of people standing not far away the gas in the truck tanks rained fire down on everyonepeole running around on fire screaming one man from his chin to his hair line the skin was gone and he was yelling help there were so many we couldnt get everyone put out trying to help one while watching another melt then we had a few morter round come in we spent 16 hours cleaning up the bodys lost some good friends and that is one of the bottom memorys on the list of my bad memorys from iraq.I’m telling everyone this becouse i have spent sence i got back in 05 working with the va taking the pills and pills and pills and talking to the head doctors for the first two years the nightmares didnt go away wakeing up and seeing burning people standing in my room and smelling burning skin for hours after didnt go away not being able to you to a public place without feeling like i was going to have a heartattack didnt go away not being able to keep a job or a girlfriend or having a relashionship with my family didnt go away most or the time it got worse then i read that smoking pot help some vet so i thought what the hell i started smoking pot in 08 i had the best nights sleep i could ever remember i still had nightmares but the were less often i could go some where like walmart i could go in and get what i needed and get out i couldnt just walk around but i could go and slowly was rebuilding my relashionship with my family my family said they notice i was alot calmer and happyer and they were thankful for the va being able to help me finaly and no i didnt tell them it wasnt the va i was smoking pot but for once my life was manageable i was able to cope anuff to have somewhat of the closest thing to a normal life i had knowen in a long time i remember being so happy i broke down and cryed all through 08 i was holding down a job doing landscaping and mowing yard they did both and i was building homes on the side then in 09 the va told me that for them to be able to help me i needed to stop smoking pot and let them do there job so i quite and i havent smoke sence now i have nightmares three times a week i 2 to 3 days without sleeping and when i pass out most of the time i have a nightmare my family and i dont talk they think i quite taking my medicen lol and everything is back to the way it was except now im more depressed that i was for one short year i almost felt as good as i did before i went to iraq i found out my first sargent killed his self three days ago couldnt take it anymore i have lost more friends here than i did in iraq but i understand the war wasnt overthere it started when we got home the years that i have been home and every year it gets worse dont get me wrong 08 was hell for me but it was better than 06,07,09 and know 10 i have read all the comments above i hear the cry for help and feel the pain i know the side affects of pot i have studyed it and every med that a take from the va or have took frome the va i know that pot incresses the risk of heart problems and i know that having ptsd at my age 25 dose too but it never made me have anul sepage like my pills do or make me want to kill myself like some of the outher pills i have taken do i know this about me not outhers though. im not trying to blame anyone for what is going on with me i signed the line i picked the path. i have read page after page from vets talking about the pills the take and them not helping or helping alittle even making it worse but i havent seen alot of vets talking about how pot has made there life worse medicaly that is.i know that it made the quality of my life better in 08 i was even working out but the va didnt want that so i quite i want to go by there rules and do what they say and take what they say becouse they are the va the doctors and know whats best even though sadly its not working for alot of vet. my heart gos out the the to all the vet and very much so to the vets with very bad ptsd like me i feel that losing your mind is true hell and that having ptsd is like having your life taken away from you it takes you from a world you once knew and lockes you in another. At least thats the way i feel.Well im giving the va 6 months and then im Onmywayout.

  14. I returned from the balkins in 2004. I have been fine for the past few years drinking heavily to pass out for what I thought was no reasons. I had freinds and family say something is wrong and I need help. In 2010 my wife divorced me I lost my children family and freinds. I have been in and out of the VA and civilian hospitals for anxiety depression and recently suicide. I have been ok for a few weeks yet still can’t handle public places loud noises or to much activity. I take about 16 pills a day still suffer from hearing loss, ringing in my head, anxiety, depression, lowere back needs work, right knee is fixed now but left one is shot. I am under 30 and I feel 60. 10 days ago a friend of mine brought me marajuana and stuck it in my hand ( I told her I aint a druggy (after drinking my case of beer I passed out. The next day I poundered it and smoked it. I have not felt so stress free and low anxiety in several years. I feel like relaxing on the deck instead of putting a bullet in my head. I am being admitted back to the VA in a couple weeks for substance abuse of alcahol and ptsd and transition to a civillian but I am fine not drinking now but I am smoking weed which makes me a lot more comfortable and functional. But they will do blood test im sure and see I have been smoking. I guess for what it is worth I am simply saying I would like to get rid of all the pills and give the weed a fair try. its organic and thats good right? arnt we going organic.

  15. You all have forgotten what you sacrificed for. Up yours and quit feeling sorry for yourselves. You are weak and have given into the easy wrong. Your Drill Sergeants would be embarassed to know they passed you. WE HAVE ALL FAILED!

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