The American Legion wants the United States government to get serious, once and for all, about removing the cannabis plant from the confines of its Schedule I classification.
Earlier last week, the Legion passed a resolution at its annual convention aimed at persuading congressional powers to reschedule marijuana to a classification that will bring about more research opportunities. The goal of this newfound decree is to get the federal government to consider lifting some of the restrictions that have long since prevented cannabis from being considered medicine for those soldiers suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and traumatic brain injury (TBI).
The resolution reads:
“RESOLVED, By The American Legion in National Convention assembled in Cincinnati, Ohio, August 30, 31, September 1, 2016, that The American Legion urge the Drug Enforcement Agency [sic] to license privately-funded medical marijuana production operations in the United States to enable safe and efficient cannabis drug development research; and, be it finally, RESOLVED, That The American Legion urge Congress to amend legislation to remove Marijuana from schedule I and reclassify it in a category that, at a minimum will recognize cannabis as a drug with potential medical value.”
Incidentally, Dr. Sue Sisley, the driving force behind the nation’s first federally approved cannabis study charged with finding the medicinal benefits for people with PTSD, was at the Legion’s convention in Cincinnati to discuss her research and the importance of getting Uncle Sam to budge on all of this “no medicinal value” business.
Her speech is largely credited for getting the American Legion to support the cannabis cause.
“I only heard very positive feedback from the thousands of veterans in the audience,” Sisley told Marijuana.com. “I was stunned at how little controversy there was. It seems highly unanimous among American Legion members that we owe it to the veteran community to demand end to the barriers to this kind of cannabis research.”
The American Legion’s stance on medical marijuana comes just one month after the DEA announced that it would not remove the cannabis plant from its current Schedule I classification. Its decision, according to acting DEA administrator Chuck Rosenberg, was made because the FDA has yet to determine cannabis is “safe and effective medicine.”
However, a number of military veterans say it is the most effective medicine.
In a recent report from Stars & Stripes, Roberto Pickering, an infantry Marine who fought in the 2003 invasion of Iraq said cannabis saved his life because it prevented him from leaning on a concoction of dangerous prescription drugs to deal with PTSD.
“This war doesn’t end when you come back,” Pickering said. Marijuana “really improved my quality of life… I found what works for me.”