Freedom for Cigarettes but No Freedom for Medical Cannabis? – Veteran Discusses His Use of Medical Cannabis to Treat PTSD
APR 8, 2014 – JTMP attended the National Medical Cannabis Unity Conference 2014 here in DC sponsored by Americans for Safe Access and a few others to bring together medical cannabis patients, activists, doctors, botanical experts, food and drug law advocates, medical cannabis business industry representatives, and others to form a plan on how we move forward to expand the rights of patients nationwide who will benefit from medical cannabis treatment. Although things are moving "fast", Maryland passed a Medical Cannabis Program Bill yesterday while the conference was happening, there are still a lot of battles to fight. 48 of the 50 states (and DC, territories, etc.) remain in the insane 1920's prohibitionist mode and deny millions of patients the medicine they need to ease their suffering, and in some cases HEAL. JTMP will have a video of a man whose wife was HEALED by medical cannabis, and he has the lab test results to prove it, so stand by for that also. This is an exciting week.
I haven't yet finished the Unity Conference 2014 video series I am going to be releasing this week of panels discussing botanical medicines, cannabinoids and other exciting topics at the conference (stand by!); but we did an interview with TJ Thompson, a Navy vet who uses medical cannabis to treat his PTSD, and it was so moving I just had to get it out. TJ lives in Virginia, and even though a recent Quinnipiac Poll shows 84% of Virginians want this vet who has served his country to have his medicine available to him, many elected officials continue to resist enacting a medical cannabis program. Which brings me to the topic of my blog. Last week, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel raised the hackles of many by suggesting (gasp!) that the US government not sell poison (cigarettes) through the PX and commissaries on US military bases. (I am an army brat so I know what those are, but for those who don't know they are basically the grocery and drug store on base) Secretary Hagel pointed out that tobacco related illnesses cost the military well over a billion dollars a year in health care costs to treat. So fiscal conservatives who hate wasteful government spending rallied behind him right? Well, not quite. People started screaming that the "freedom for the soldier to buy cigarettes is being infringed!" and foam came out of their mouth. When I saw how medical cannabis is helping this vet TJ below treat his PTSD I thought: Will these same people fight for this and other vets, active duty, and even regular citizens the freedom to have safe and easy access to legal medical cannabis, as hard as they fight for that soldier or vet to have poison (cigarettes)? (Spoiler: They won't) What are your thoughts? Start up a discussion on our JTMP Facebook Page! Watch our interview of TJ Thompson below.