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Although there have been many studies demonstrating the increasing support for federal cannabis legalization, there is a lack of research interviewing military members, veterans, and their families on this subject. A new study conducted and published by Ohio State University sought to change that.
The survey polled 1,168 active duty members, former military vets, their family members, and non-military people on their opinions regarding cannabis, legalizing psychedelics, and cocaine and heroin.
They found that, regardless of veteran status, most people support federal cannabis legalization. Around 60% of military members and veterans support it, along with 85% of family members and non-military respondents. Additionally, more family members and non-military individuals are on board with legalizing psychedelics. Only 40% of vets are in favor, with around 60% of non-military members supporting the psychedelic movement.
Interestingly enough, more veterans support legal cocaine and heroin than non-military members. Those numbers are still relatively small, with 37% of vets in favor compared to 10% and 20% in family and non-military respondents.
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“Overall, these results indicate differing levels of support depending on drug type and whether one is a veteran/active military, a family member of a veteran, or non-military,” wrote the authors of the study.
Veterans and Prescription Cannabis
While veterans are in favor of medicinal and legal marijuana, many of them still lack adequate access to it. The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) currently prohibits its doctors from recommending cannabis as a treatment for mental or physical ailments, even in states where medicinal and recreational marijuana are legalized.
Congressional lawmakers, who are working on bills that would allow veterans to use cannabis and psychedelics in therapeutic settings, are concerned about this VA policy. Increasing evidence points to cannabis as a treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression, anxiety, and more, and it has serious potential to help veterans suffering from these conditions. Unfortunately, many of them have to look elsewhere for products and may not feel comfortable disclosing cannabis use to VA doctors.
Hopefully, the potential cannabis rescheduling movement will turn the tide for veterans and military members. If it is reclassified as a Schedule III substance, the VA may reconsider its views and allow its doctors to begin prescribing cannabis to those who could benefit from it.