Should Congress Give Marijuana to Our Veterans Suffering from PTSD?

It has been another rough couple of weeks for the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). After the long-running scandals of shameful wait times, neglect to the point of lives lost, and the need for new leadership, they have faltered again recently with tone-deaf comparisons to Disneyland visits and mistakenly thinking that 4,000 living veterans had somehow expired, according to incorrect records.

Hardly comforting news for those who served, and to whom we owe so much, as Memorial Day is upon us.

Yet even that record, sad enough, speaks more of bureaucratic neglect and indifference, and not of policies doing active damage. The Obama administration's enabling of legal marijuana can become even worse, however, were the VA to support marijuana for afflicted veterans suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Such action risks precisely committing "active damage."

No physician, of course, can actually prescribe marijuana, for medicinal purposes or otherwise, as it is not an approved medication, and has no demonstrated therapeutic value in the treatment of any condition, according to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). There is further the clear safety risk in its use, not only from abuse potential, but from its association with adverse health outcomes, such as diminished quality of life and even premature death.

In particular, some of the strongest findings show an association with psychotic breaks, schizophrenia, and depression – that is, similar conditions to mental disabilities that some PTSD sufferers seek to overcome. In particular, marijuana can worsen outcomes for those with a "co-morbidity" condition, such as psychiatric disorders.

 Read more at The Weekly Standard

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