Sunday, September 25, 2011

Veterans Need Our Help

First a little background on the source, Stars and Stripes newspaper.

Stars and Stripes is a news source that operates from inside the United States Department of Defense but is editorially separate from it. The First Amendment protection which Stars and Stripes enjoys is safeguarded by Congress to whom an independent ombudsman, who serves the readers' interests, regularly reports.
So what you are about to read comes from a semi-official source.

Former platoon sergeant says marijuana was 'the only thing' that controlled his PTSD
Jamey Raines tried marijuana once or twice in high school, but he said he had no interest in it after he joined the Army in 2000. He served in heavy combat in Iraq from 2003 to 2004 and rose through the ranks from private to platoon sergeant. Along the way he drank and smoked cigarettes like many infantrymen do, but he said he was “100 percent against” using any drug in any form.

Five years out of the military as of next month, however, Raines has changed his mind.

Using marijuana, he said, was the only way he could control his intense anger and anxiety as a result of post-traumatic stress disorder. The drug was a crutch, but a necessary one, he said, and it enabled him to go to college, earn his degree and land a decent job.

It succeeded, he said, where the fistfuls of prescription medications that Army doctors doled out failed him.

“The only way that I got through all that was that I smoked pot every day,” said Raines, 29, now living in Ohio. He thought of it as “the lesser of two evils [that] made it easier to go out in public, to talk to people, and easier to let things go when people say stupid [stuff].”
I assume the the brackets "[]" are to make the paper family friendly. So fill in the blanks.

This is not the first time military people have come out in favor of keeping pot legal. I'm not talking about individuals. I'm talking about an official US Military Commission. The following is taken from: The Military Surgeon Volume 73 - July-December 1933. The commission studied pot smoking by US Military personnel in the Panama Canal Zone.
B. Common effects of mariajuana described by users:

1. Mild intoxication. (Smokers use different terms to describe their sensations, the most common being "brushed up," "high," "happy," "peppy," "rosy," "dopy," "satisfied.")

2. Increased appetite.

3. Induction of sleep an hour or two after smoking.

4. Only five, or 15 per cent, stated they missed mariajuana when deprived of it.

5. Twenty-four, or 71 per cent, stated they preferred tobacco to mariajuana.

6. These soldiers stated that mariajuana was cheap and easy to procure in Panama and that they used it for "a pleasant pastime," usually during hours off duty when they had nothing else to do to amuse themselves. They stated that practically all recruits tried mariajuana and those who like it usually continued its use. Their average estimate of the number of habitual mariajuana smokers in their respective organizations was approximately 10 per cent.
We now know that the incidence of PTSD in the general population is about 10%. It can go as high as 20% to 25% among combat veterans. So the habitual use or "missing it" numbers fits well with what we know today.

So what was the final conclusion of the report?

1.The present military regulations prohibiting the introduction, sale, possession, or use of mariajuana on military reservations should continue in force, as they are believed to restrict the use of mariajuana among soldiers.

2. With the evidence obtained and considered by the committee no recommendations for further legislative action to prevent the sale or use of mariajuana in the Canal Zone, Panama, are deemed advisable under existing conditions.
Of course at the time the report was written marijuana was legal for any desired use in the US. It wasn't outlawed until 1937.

Our veterans need our help and yet so many of my "I'm on your side" friends say "not now" it might ruin our election chances. What about the chances of those suffering veterans my friends? What about them?

If you are into petitioning the White House here is the place to go: Allow United States Disabled Military Veterans access to medical marijuana to treat their PTSD

A little Panama music for the enjoyment of fans.

Cross Posted at Classical Values

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