Author Steven Giles

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Against their own policy, the Department of Veteran Affairs would rather treat veterans diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder with addictive benzodiazepines tranquilizers such as Valium and Xanax – instead of using prohibited medical marijuana, despite studies showing cannabis to be a safer alternative.
Current Department of Defense and Department of Veterans Affairs guidelines caution providers from using benzodiazepines tranquilizers as a treatment for combat related PTSD. “Once initiated, benzodiazepines can be very difficult, if not impossible, to discontinue due to significant withdrawal symptoms compounded by the underlying PTSD symptoms,” the VA/Department of Defense guidelines state.

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The Department of Veteran Affairs estimates that more than 256,820 veterans who served over the last 12 years suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder — a consequence mostly of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Medical marijuana may help with the symptoms, but vets still can’t use it to treat their symptoms, as Veterans Affairs or the White House does not permit it.
While nothing prohibits a veteran from participating in state marijuana programs or receiving treatment at a VA facility, the use of marijuana is not permitted on VA property and no VA pharmacy will dispense it or help pay for it.