Under the Radar

Sound Off: Should the VA Prescribe Medical Marijuana?


There's a widespread belief that medical cannabis can help treat patients dealing with PTSD, but the Federal government doesn't allow Veterans Affairs doctors to prescribe the drug (even in the 23 states that have legalized it for medicinal purposes) and has specifically prohibited them from even offering an opinion about whether it might help an individual patient.

A new Quinnipiac University National poll has found that 87% of Americans believe that VA doctors should be able to provide marijuana pills to veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder. Eight-seven percent. Can anyone think of another issue that 87% of Americans would agree on?

Even in military households (where one family member is a veteran or on active duty military service), there's still 82% support for the proposition.

For any progress to be made, the DEA must first downgrade marijuana from its current Schedule 1 status alongside heroin and LSD. Even cocaine and morphine, which have recognized medical uses, are Schedule 2. In a letter to lawmakers this past spring, the DEA has indicated that it is considering the change.

For those interested in broader availability, the poll found that 54% of Americans believe that marijuana should be legal without restrictions (although 57% of Americans over the age of 65 remain opposed to the question.)

What do you think? Should VA doctors be allowed to prescribe marijuana to their patients? Sound off!

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