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 Responses to “Veterans Say Marijuana Works Best for PTSD”

  1. I suffer from ptsd when i came home i was miserable and eventually ended up in the VA hospital. I took there pills that they prescribed and slowly watched my life turn to crap. I quit using cannabis when i signed the contract with the us army. I tried it there way. The one thing that makes my symptoms go away and allows me to function is cannabis. I think its wrong that I can fight in Afghanistan and Iraq and be a hero. Now when I am home where I should be free im a criminal because of what I decide to use in the privacy of my own home for ailments that where created in the service of our country.

  2. I have a very good friend who smoked Cannabis before he joined the Army. He served a tour of duty in Tanij, Iraq.

    He smokes for recreation but I am sure he would support the use of Cannabis by Vet’s diagnosed with PTSD.

    And so do I.

  3. population control, why dont u think theres no cure for aid or herpes? simple because a 1 time cure dosnt have a large profit model over a life time sustainability.

  4. Hey “Charlie” … screw’em ! I have a cousin that has PTSD after serving in Iraq. He did it their way too. Now he uses cannabis and is doing better.

    Our government is a meat grinder. It sucks in our people and spits them out with out any remorse.

    You would think our troops would be treated better.

  5. Finally, someone is addressing this issue.

    MPP I find the questions you put up at the end of each post a bit frustrating anymore. What exactly are you trying to achieve?

    Happy New Year everyone ………………….

  6. Unfortunately, I got a dishonorable discharge for possession of 1 gram of a schedule 1 drugn- weed

    Legalize it for the military!!!! Drop seeds not bombs!!!

  7. god bless all the americans that put there lives on the line for our freedom ,and we all should understand that this is the medication needed to help us all that suffer with ptsd.. if we all speak out that this helps cope we will win this fight as well ..god bless the troops and happy new year thanks to the ones that put it all on the line …and if MJ helps light up and tell us your stories it helps !!love to the vet’s

  8. helps me cope with all the emotions of having a disorder much like MS in my 20’s…I can easily see why it could help them, even without getting scientific about it.

  9. Dear Mr. and Mrs.

    Thank you for contacting me to share your support for the legalization of marijuana for medicinal purposes, especially as a treatment for service members suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). I appreciate having the benefit of your thoughts.

    The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has advised that smoking or ingesting marijuana for medical purposes has many drawbacks as a pure drug and may be contaminated with pathogens such as mold and fungi. In addition, a study at the Harvard University Medical School showed that marijuana smoking makes a person five times more likely to have a heart attack. However, the FDA has also advised that the principal active ingredient in marijuana, tetrahydrocannabinol, is available as an oral prescription drug, Marinol. The Drug Enforcement Agency has classified Marinol as a schedule 3 drug, which means that doctors can prescribe it.

    While I am mindful of the viewpoints expressed about marijuana legalization, I am against the legalization of controlled substances and will oppose any legislation that includes such measures. To lose the force of moral sanction behind anti‑drug efforts is to lose a great deal. In my view, we must continue to emphasize education, early intervention, and rehabilitation, while harshly punishing those who traffic these dangerous substances.

    Statistics indicate that while anti‑drug education efforts are having positive effects in reducing the use of some controlled substances, the broad trend is still a cause for concern. Too many of our young people are still using illicit substances, and we must continue in our efforts to reduce this harmful trend. We must also emphasize the need to reduce abuse of legal, but harmful substances like alcohol and tobacco.

    I believe that any successful program to reduce illegal drug use will hinge upon educational efforts aimed at preempting early experimentation with illicit drugs. Significant funding has been provided at the federal level for drug prevention, education, and treatment programs. I share no illusions that these programs will singularly reverse the tide of drug use in our country, but they will do much to advance this goal. We must use innovative tactics, on the supply and demand side, to reduce drug use in our society.

    Again, thank you for contacting me to share your views on this issue. Knowing your thoughts is helpful to me.


    Richard G. Lugar
    United States Senator

  10. Mokkie,

    awesome. That real? What if we took hundreds of letters from members of Congress sent to servicemen just like that and debunk all the lies. See if Progressive insurance will give you a blog post on that issue. Republicans lying to servicemen with PTSD to line their pockets from financial donors to their PACS.

  11. in alot of ways it is despicable how we treat our veterans. Instead of doing the needed research and legalizing cannabis nation wide we would rather keep the civil rights crushing drug war going, and fill our vets with other drugs that have side effects and withdrawl symptoms to rival the ptsd disease it self. this policy makes no sense:(

  12. Until we get people like Richard G. Lugar United States Senator out of office We are going to have a tough row to hoe. not only for our veterans but for everyone. Not just medicine but also on the industrial hemp side.

  13. Considering what so many men and women have endured while deployed and continue to endure as a result of their deployment, to deny them ANY treatment that works best for them, would be immoral and corrupt…but of course where the DEA is concerned, it’s all in a days work….Isn’t it time to dissolve the office of the DEA?

  14. It is obvious that Cannabis will work with PSTD because Pot helps with the nightmares, helps people relax, and helps Patriots forget the crimes commited in the name of our Nazi Goverment.

  15. Mr. Lugar, go to hell.

    I found the report that acknowldged the research Mr. Senator stated.

    Two things:

    1. 3,882 people had heart attacks, 124 of them used marijuana in the last year, 9 were to have smoked Marijuana 1 hour before the attack. How in any way can you conlude from the previous information that within the first hour of smoking marijuana your chances of having a heart attack is increased by 5 times?

    2. “While smoking marijuana was found to be less risky as an immediate trigger of heart attack than using cocaine, it is roughly as dangerous as exercise for a fit person and more dangerous than sex for a sedentary person.” I’ve conluded,among many other conlusions, from this statement that they are suggesting that in order for marijuana to be hazzardous in the sense it might give you a heart attack, you would have to be already more acceptable to having a heart attack…Like fat people or sedentary people that dont do anyting except sit on their ass (unhealthy people). Having these type of people smoking marijuana would be like having them run a 20 mile marothon, the chances of them having a heart attack is increased, because they are doing an activety that is more than their heart can endure. Another thing is I find this statement a little comical…it might be just be me, but to me that means that whoever was conducting the research and providing its conclusions were not taking it seriously. My theory is that the government or lobbiest were providing funds for this experiment and dictated what the conclusions should be.

  16. I am held together with bolts and pins in my left leg. Not from war, but from a bike wreck back in 85. I have been using cannabis for pain since 85. I live in Mn. and now our govoner wants to be pres. If Pawlenty will deny this state of medical cannabis, he will deny the whole nation!!! Now, How do I go about getting funding for a study on me, By me, to document the effects of years of cannabis use and it’s effects on my body? I would gladly split the grant with someone to help with this project. Isn’t that how things are done in D.C.?

  17. Mr lugar has just killed his political future. How much does Mr. Lugar get from drug co’s and lobbiest’s? The harvord study does not say how old were the subjects. Were they the same age, sex, same diet. Was this a controlled environment? I am not a rocket scientist but if only 124 people out of 3882 that had heart attacks used cannabis, it seems that those that used cannabis had a much lower heart attack rate. That tells me that cannabis decreases the risk for heart failure. I am 46 with a ninth grade education and if I can see the truth, why are we still being lied to ?

  18. I too am on 100% disability from the VA. Majority of the time I get a lot of bias for it through the medical system. In fact I was probably a little “too honest” while still in the military going through the med board process. Luckily I wasn’t completely ruined over it. There are some VA DOCTORS THAT ARE VERY SUPPORTIVE. I am looking forward to Illinois “hopefully” upcoming vote in January ’10, my primary care doctor is very supportive. In St. Louis, where I’m most seen, I almost thought one of my doctors had grown himself due to the kind of conversations we’ve had.
    Luckily, I feel that VA doctors who are supportive may not have much trouble being the ones who give you the go for medicinal use in your state if permissible. Most states only ask the doctors to “recommend” it which may be easier to “prescribe” under their federal employers. Also, VA doctors have ton fall under State regulations in other matters, so this would help as well.
    Good luck finding help, I know how many unsupportive doctors, whether by personal opinion or their fear of peer/employer retaliation or bias, can be detriment to your success as a patient. Even more, as a deserving human being, entitled to the freedom you were willing to fight for.

  19. a big faaak you to the senator!
    i’m curious…how many of those heart attack victims were taking prescription drugs…like oh, lets say, viagra…b4 their heart attacks. i guess its okay to die with a stiffy though. fukin liars!

  20. Holy Smokes. We can send a young person half way around the world, teach them to kill, maim, or destroy the enemy. But, since they are young and the brain is still developing, they are prohibited from drinking a beer. Then they come home. All screwed up with both physical and mental challenges due to the exposure of traumatic events. Our government then has the nerve to not allow a soldier to legally obtain a rather benign substance that has ancedotal benefits to relieve the soldiers symptoms of PTSD. That’s Tyranny!

    Universal Life Church of the Holy Smokes.

  21. @ Mookie #12

    The second half of your letter is almost written exactly the same as the letter I received from my Congressman David WU, D-OR

  22. If Pawlenty is really wanting to run for Pres. then now’s the time to dig up the dirt on him. Not just what you know now but what you don’t know.
    Don’t let MSM elect another Pres.

  23. Mookie:

    Why not ask him to supply you with some statistics that show that the money we are spending on the “War on Drugs” is actually working. From all rational accounts this “war” is a total failure and to continue to do what has not been working and to expect different results is “STUPIDITY”!

  24. i tried the va system for pdst with 3 differnt meds,it didnt help.i have been smoking pot close to 40 years,and it has keep me from fucking something up when i would jump off the the way,whats up with losing your RIGHT TO BEAR ARMS,BECAUSE YOU ARE PTSD? your that way because the gov . catch 22 ,wouldnt you say!!!

  25. yeah you may be that way due to them, but that doesnt mean the rest of us want ptsd with guns…I dont want anyone with a gun that doesnt have it tucked away at home or is not a cop/government fbi/cia etc.

    it helps for sure, helps you cope with things.

  26. I wonder why Mr. Lugar can’t acknowledge that the phrase “Harvard Medical School Affiliate…” may imply that it is not Harvard Medical, but someone who is affiliated with the school. Big difference.

    Also, if Marinol is so great, why did I have to refuse to fill the prescription I was given by my military doctor years ago? MARINOL CAN NOT BE TAKEN BY PEOPLE WITH SEIZURES, which is the main reason I would benefit from marijuana.

  27. If you are prescribed pain killers from the VA, they take a urine sample to check what drugs you are taking. They check for street drugs and to make sure you are taking what you are prescribed and not selling them.

    They will cancel your prescription with three bad urines. This is problematic for marijuana smokers because trace evidence remains in the fatty tissues for up to 45 (Actually more if a daily chronic smoker, I know for a fact) days.

    This does not seem like a policy that is medicine driven. It seems like a DEA/political driven policy.

    Does anybody have any factual information about this?

  28. Furthermore Mr. Lugar, I agree that we should not give children the wrong impression. Therefore any drug that is dangerous to a normal healthy teen, “Off the shelf!”

    Ones things for certain, VA patients with their “free meds” from their gracious sponsors make great guinea pig candidates. Well, I’m sick of it. I’ve had multiple life-threatening reactions to various meds; just this year I’ve just finally began getting over HPPD induced from medicines (nearly 6 years ago) with serious unnecessary reactions such as hallucinations and major anxiety.

    I guess when chemical and pharmaceutical companies lobbying for political interest, the least the government sponsored VAMC can do is provide many profits in return.

  29. PVT PYLE
    As I mentioned earlier in a post, there are even nurses and doctors within the VA system that support marijuana. I am always very vocal on my views and my marijuana smoking is always at the least a 30 second part of every visit nearly. I have had doctors put in my med docs that they advised me to quit, that is the very most negative response.

    I have NEVER been told at all that my benefits or any care would be effected. (In fact, I have over 14 plastic bins full of documentation that show just how crooked and improper their care is without such excess as marijuana retaliation) I am constantly having contact and procedures both medical and administrative with the VA, so I know it is not that I simply fall unnoticed.

    When I was pregnant with my daughter and went to my first appts the VA had always been well aware of my use, which I reminded them of at this time. I do not agree with any drug use of anything in the first trimester w/o extreme reasons… however, how could I know before I was pregnant to stop use with enough time to not be present. So of course my use showed up on a routine prenatal test. This was expected since I had heavy use. If the VA had a huge problem with marijuana this could have surely triggered a huge retaliation, but it didn’t.

    Most doctors will just suggest you discontinue, which may or may not even be their opinion because of its sensitive nature. I really believe there are a lot more marijuana sympathizers working for the VA then they let on. It’s too bad they lack the strength and honestly to stand up to their beliefs.

  30. PVT PYLE
    I apologize to everyone for my multiple posts, Im trying to do this on my phone this morning and obviously am not reading the other posts thoroughly.

    About the chronic smoker–45 day theory. To my knowledge, heavier smokers actually flush marijuana out of their system at a faster rate than others of lesser use.

    Also, I have asked many times regarding “surprise” urine tests. For example, many people in the emergency room think their getting drug tested for drugs for punishable reasons. Majority of the time they are just making sure what you have in your system so they don’t give you anything that will react badly with anything your body already has. Multiple doctors @ VAMC JOhn Cochran have stated that marijuana is not a dangerous drug in this case. It does not have known severe reactions with other drugs.

    Usually the only reason for checking drugs your prescribed is for your safety. Many drugs they have prescribed me in the past have toxic reactions or side effects that can be detected by blood/urine.

    Not all drugs can be detected by urine, sometimes we have to subdue our fear so we can try and debunks the myths with a more clear vision. It is very hard with people like the VA because for many people like me, unfortunately, they are a necessary evil. I feel tormented with having an extreme negative history (and likely similar future) with them, and yet, I am uninsurable because of my disabilities and am unemployable. The little good they do would be detriment to me if not continued. It’s easy to let this cloud judgement.

    Always remember, when I went down to the “moment of truth” before boot camp, we received our “last chance” to confess for illicit behavior. We were told that they had this “Spectrum urinalysis that will tell if you ever smoked weed or did acid…they would know…” FIrst off, I’ve never heard of an acid urine test… and a test for your whole life for marijuana…come on. I was extremely more naive then and it almost got me, many people did get up to confess. So just try to remember these are the same people trying to scare you with their life-long spectrum urinalysis.

  31. In re: 36/37

    My knowledge is from personal experience. I have been prescribed painkillers since 2003. I’m a Right A/K amputee (Grenade -Nam -1967) and I complained about overall body pain, joints , shoulders, damaged knee and specifically nerve pain in my stump.

    At that time I didn’t have to give a urine and would not have passed (weed). In April I asked for a higher amount of pills as my conditions had worsened, torn labrum/supraspinatus, worsening of knee pain. I was granted the increase but had to give a urine, which can up positive for MJ.

    I stopped smoking about 60 days before my next appointment in November, thinking all the trace of MJ would have been eliminated from my body. Alas, no. I tested positive after 70 days of not imbibing.

    I was a daily heavy user, 3-4 grams per day. So, I’m busy exercising and forcing fluids and not smoking because the MD says she will stop the pain meds.

    I have a 100% rating for PTSD and I found that although MJ didn’t specifically reduce symptoms, it made my withdrawal from the world around me much more palatable.

  32. Senator Richard G. Lugar

    Gender: Male
    Hometown: Indianapolis
    Birth: On April 4, 1932
    in Indianapolis
    Professional Experience
    (including Military): Farmer
    Co-owner food machinery manufacturing business
    US Navy
    Education: MA, BA, Rhodes Scholar, Oxford College
    BA, Denison University

    Family: Wife: Charlene, 4 children, 13 grandchildren
    Faith: Methodist

    Do we really expect an old guard Republican Methodist Farmer to support Marijuana reform? He is just another holdover from the Bush era. It’s funny though, he says his occupation is “farmer” but his degrees say “Professional Politician”. I think the “Farmer” bit is just to get votes.

  33. Here is another story for you. A friend of ours has a son who did a tour of duty in Iraq and then returned home. He was gone two years and was ecstatic to finally be home. His buddies took him out partying to the night clubs in Houston. Later that evening they were stopped by a cop who demanded ID (they were walking). He was a little drunk and just handed the cop his wallet instead of just pulling the ID out of it. The cop looked through his wallet and found two Xanax pills tucked away inside. He was arrested and thrown in jail for felony possession because he did not have a prescription. Welcome home!

  34. I did see this article regarding marijuana and pain management.

    I will talk to my provider on Tues at my next appt and get her info on it, since she is my VA doctor. Never can trust most sites, when there’s proof one way there’s always another report with opposite proof. I much rather talk to people personally involved.

    Sorry to hear of your trouble PVT PYLE. Maybe my VAMC let me slide because of all the trouble they give me. Doubtful… perhaps its just been so long since I had officially been treated for pain management with them, and there are now more strickly enforced policies. I’ll post any additions my provider may have.

    I did notice with that link above one of the comments said that the VA won’t recommend mj for pain management. Whoever wrote it never went into if the VA is not recommending any mj or just for pain. Furthermore, they never state how they know this information. I’d ask as many people involved, as you feel comfortable, personally or at least with more immediate channels. That’s always better than pieces here and there from the web that can never fully be relied upon.

  35. PVT PYLE
    One more thing… I’d get a second opinion on the mj being in your system, just to be safe. That is an awfully long time. I know my cousin had a fairly long time than average, maybe because it was a bit larger than average, but 70 days is a very long time. Especially if your intentionally trying to clean out your system.

    Try purchasing a home kit from Walgreens or order a couple at a good rate online. We’re not exactly dealing with the most honest crowd with the VAMC system, and/or mistakes can (and for some…always) do happen.

  36. Sen. cRihard G. Lugar Professional politition. Professional lier. He has to lie to keep all the lobiests giving him money. God forbid a polition tell the truth!!!

  37. It’s really something isn’t it? These god damn wars. Our young people fight to the death, believing in our leaders, believing in our country’s motives, only to come home and be denied access to safe medicine to heal their wounds. And we fight and die for freedom? Well, let’s fight and die for freedom!

  38. Thanks to all of you for fighting for me(freedom). But alas, it for not. Your leaders have already buried me with lies and hypocrasy. Tainted and stained me with greed and lust for power. I will pray for your all, for without me, the light of liberty surely will die also. I will be waiting for you at those pearly gates.

  39. Holy Smokes. I smell something. And, It smells like poo!
    Once the new healthcare reform allows everyone access to healthcare it will not belong before the selective non-smoker, non-toker, non-alcohol user is the only one being covered. “Since you failed your initial blood screen with nicotine, cannabis, and alcohol you will be sent to the back of the line. “This coverage is for the truely needy, the ones who don’t use tobacco, cannabis, or alcohol. To bad you tested positive and you are now suspect in the federal healthcare database of knowledge.

    Universal Life Church of the Holy Smokes
    Portland, OR

  40. I fnd it sa that there areaot of us vets from the middle east, who like myself have had problems since I returned in 92, Marijauana help with my daily anixity and depression, and had at leaset the want to work and make something of myself, now doctors have me ull of pills wich are no comparionsion to the pot, after taking all the pills who feels like functioning, at leas with dope I have a fighting chance to enjoy life, I just wish Ohio would come off there fences and do something that would not only benefit many many people but also have an effect on our budgets, it is the worlds largest crop. I could go on and on , but look at the states, thers is over 12 states for medical marijauna and a couple more on the way, IT IS TIME FOR THE PRESIDENT TO COME OUT OF HIS SHELL AND DEAL WITH SOME OF THE ISSUES THAT ARE HURTING MANY PEOPLE HERE IN THE U.S

  41. I didnt get a chance to talk to my VA doctor yet, I wound up getting sent to Barnes Jewish instead. Pvt Pyle, are you in a state that has been considering medical marijuana?

  42. When a drug test is done for marijuana, the actual drug that is being looked for is a metabolite of pot. In other words, the drug screen is not for the presence of something you just smoked, it is to find out if you are a smoker. The metabolite may stay in the system for up to 3 or 4 weeks with most people, heavy smokers or not. I have done a lot of research on this, as I was in a position which required random drug testing. I passed the initial screen and then quit. I am not chasing the drug nazis. To find out more info on this, go to the NORML sites and explore drug screening. If you are trying to clean out, take the time to investigate what’s really the best way to detox. All the info is online. If you are in a job or in a situation which requires pot testing, you really have to consider if abstinence is worth it. Personally, I would rather be a pioneer, be in possession of a cannabis medical user certificate, using cannabis and spreading the word about MMJ.

  43. 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!

  44. 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

  45. 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.

  46. 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?

  47. 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.

  48. 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

  49. 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.

  50. 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.

  51. 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.

  52. 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

  53. 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.

  54. 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.

  55. 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.

  56. 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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