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The American Legion and Marijuana

Veteran News
Veteran News
September 7, 2016
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The American Legion, one of the biggest and most well-known of all veterans organizations, passed a resolution at its annual convention urging the federal government to stop classifying marijuana as a schedule one drug.The organization also asked the Drug Enforcement Agency to license privately-owned medical marijuana dispensaries so that cannabis can be safely and effectively researched.The American Legion, which has over 2 million members nationwide, was founded in 1919 by veterans of the first World War.The resolution deals in large part with the medicinal use of marijuana, especially regarding post-traumatic stress disorder in veterans.The full text of the resolution can be found here.

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Marijuana Resolution Proposes Re-Classification For Research Purposes

It begins by describing some of the symptoms and causes of PTSD and TBI:

Over the past several years, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and traumatic brain injury (TBI) have been thrust into the forefront of the consciousness of the medical community and the general public in large part due to recent combat operations and subsequent recognition of these potentially ‘silent injuries”... Our foundation of knowledge guiding current diagnostics and interventions of PTSDand TBI has gained through decades of study in the academic medical world.

The resolution then goes on to state that certain pathways in the brain respond to chemicals in marijuana. The resolution also lists the drugs that are classified as less dangerous than marijuana:

Marijuana is classified as schedule I drugs and drugs such as cocaine,methamphetamine, methadone, hydromorphone (Dilaudid), meperidine (Demerol), oxycodone (OxyContin), fentanyl, Dexedrine, Adderall, and Ritalin are classified as schedule II drugs

It notes that the DEA has already approved a study of the effects of marijuana on PTSD:

In April 2016, the Drug Enforcement Agency gave its approval to a study on the effect of medical marijuana on post-traumatic stress disorder, the first randomized, controlled research inthe U.S for PTSD that will use the actual plant instead of oils or synthesized cannabis...

Category I is generally reserved for drugs that are found to have no medical value. The DEA recently rejected petitions to reclassify marijuana as a different type of drug under the Controlled Substances Act. Any drug found to be schedule I or II is considered an "illegal" drug under current law.

It is unclear if the resolution will have any effect in Congress or on the Drug Enforcement Administration.

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