Veterans Day 2018 – A Few Things We Know and One Big Question

This year we will lose more Veterans from overdose and suicide than those who died from every war combined since Vietnam

A Veterans Administration report from 2014 noted that an average of 20 veterans die by suicide every day; some Veterans groups put that number higher. Either way, it is far too many.

A newer VA report showed that suicide rates for veterans between 18 and 34 rose by 11.4 percent in 2016 alone with 69 percent of them taking their own lives by firearm…an outrage, but that’s another story.

We know that U.S. veterans are three times more likely to suffer from depression than non-veterans.

We know that a high percentage of military Veterans - including up to a half-million from the Vietnam War - suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

We know that CBD has been shown to be an effective treatment for veterans suffering from PTSD.

We know that many of our veterans also suffer from chronic pain and are being given habit-forming prescription medication to deal with it.

We know that many veterans are addicted to opiates.

A 2017 Newsweek article by author Art Levine entitled “How the VA Fueled the National Opioid Crisis and Is Killing Thousands of Veterans” tells us that opioids account for 63 percent of all drug deaths in the U.S and veterans are the most affected.:

Suicides[among veterans] and the widespread despair behind them are yet another tragic element of a national opioid crisis blamed for most of the 64,000fatal drug overdosesa year. …In fact, the estimated number of drug deaths in 2016 topped the total number of soldierskilled in the Iraq and Vietnam wars. There’s a grim irony in that statistic, because the Department of Veterans Affairs has played a little-discussed role in fueling the opioid epidemic that is killing civilians and veterans alike.

We know that CBD successfully treats chronic pain and that states with legal medical marijuana are experiencing a drop in overdose deaths from opioids.

We know from a survey released around Veterans Day 2017 by the American Legion, the nation’s largest veterans organization, that 92 percent of veterans support research on medical cannabis and 83 percent support legalizing medical marijuana.

What we don’t know, and pardon the rhetorical question, is: why the government, the DEA and the VA are not de-scheduling, prescribing, recommending, studying and providing cannabis to our military veterans?

Now that the midterms are over and hopefully there is more possibility for reasonable national discourse, please ask your lawmakers the above question. Please.

The real and lasting victories are those of peace and not of war.” Ralph Waldo Emerson

Happy Veterans Day 2018.

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