Army’s Top Doc Won’t Back Medical Cannabis for PTSD

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The U.S. Army Surgeon General, Lt. Gen. Nadja West, has declined to support the use of medical cannabis for military veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder.

West’s opposition deals a setback to efforts in the cannabis industry to extend the use of medical marijuana for treatment of PTSD, a common ailment among vets. The condition afflicts between 11-20 out of every 100 vets who served in either the Iraq or Afghanistan conflicts.

According to some estimates, that could equate to roughly half a million MMJ patients – and therefore millions of dollars in potential revenues for dispensaries.

West told defense reporters she’s concerned about MMJ being used for PTSD due to its “adverse health effects” and the fact that current enlisted soldiers can face serious punishment if caught using marijuana while in the Army, according to Task & Purpose.

West did say she is open to examining “evidence-based” clinical trials of MMJ for PTSD. A national study is underway by Dr. Sue Sisley to examine MMJ for military vets.

No clinical trials have been completed into medical cannabis’ efficacy in treating PTSD. But PTSD has been added as a qualifying condition for MMJ in many states across the country over the past few years due to demand from military vets.

There also have been multiple unsuccessful efforts in Congress to get the Department of Veterans Affairs and the Pentagon to allow VA doctors to recommend MMJ for veterans suffering from PTSD.